Crime in Western Australia
Western Australia is the largest single policing jurisdiction in the world. Policing within WA is diverse and complex and as a result the WA Police Force works with the community to help make our State a safe and secure place to live.
The key crime offences for the WA Police Force are Illicit Drugs, Family Violence, Stealing, Burglaries, Assault and Anti-Social Behaviour (see below for more detail).
We continually review our policing strategies to ensure we are meeting community expectations and enhancing the quality of life and well-being of all people in Western Australia.
Statistics inform our understanding of contemporary crime issues and emerging trends. We use them to assess the impact of our policing strategies and the allocation of resources.
Accurate data paints a more meaningful crime picture for our operational police and policy makers and gives the public an insight into the criminal offending in their community.
Key Crime Offences for the Western Australia Police Force
Assault and Anti-Social Behaviour
It is important that West Australians feel safe on the streets, in their local community and in entertainment precincts. While reports of non-family related assaults have declined in recent years, the WA Police Force has noticed what appears to be an increase in the level of violence associated with these assaults. The WA Police Force continues to focus on areas of high harm including entertainment precincts and works in partnership with local government authorities and licensees to keep these areas safe. The WA Police Force urges everyone to be aware of their surroundings and where possible avoid putting themselves at risk.
Family violence is a serious issue which predominantly occurs in the home, impacting primarily on women and children. Family violence offences are usually reported to police by victims or third parties. The WA Police Force takes positive action against the perpetrators of family violence and provides support for the victims and their families.
While awareness has increased in recent years, family violence offences are still under-reported to police. Police encourage victims and witnesses to speak out and report incidents of family violence so perpetrators can be brought to account for their behaviours. Accurate data assists police in developing strategies to target and mitigate family violence.
Significant police resources are committed to investigating burglary offences in WA because of the significant impact they cause the community. The WA Police Force focuses on those offenders identified as recidivist (repeat) burglars. While properties are often damaged during a burglary, burglars often gain entry through open or unlocked doors and windows. The community can assist police by better securing their properties or businesses.
By number, stealing is the largest of the volume crimes committed in WA. Stealing offences occur throughout the community in public and private places. The WA Police Force uses crime data to identify the high volume hot spots (e.g. beach front and car parks) and implement strategies to prevent and deter this type of criminal offending. Prevention is an important factor in driving down the prevalence of stealing. The community can support police by keeping their valuables secure, including not leaving them in unattended vehicles. Retailers can also play their part by minimising the opportunity for offenders to shoplift.
The prevalence of illicit drugs, particularly methamphetamine, is a significant issue for the West Australian community and law enforcement bodies. Drug users may display violent and aggressive behaviour when under the influence of drugs whilst drug addiction drives some users to steal, commit robberies and burglaries and arm themselves with weapons to fund their habit. Drug traffickers and manufacturers are simply motivated by the large profits from the sale of their products and show no remorse for the significant harm and damage they cause within communities. The WA Police Force primarily targets the supply and manufacture of these illicit drugs and works collaboratively with its law enforcement partners to target organised criminals who import these commodities into the State.
Year to date crime comparison
|Summary Offence Categories||2015-16
|% Change from
5 year average
|Offences Against the Person
(excluding Family Related Offences)
|Family Related Offences
(Assault and Threatening Behaviour)
|Offences Against Property||42,880||39,820||36,397||38,446||-5%|
* 5 Year Average is the average of the year to date period for the years 2012-13 to 2016-17.
Crime statistics are reported based on the location the offence occurred. Crime statistics may be influenced by a wide range of factors; including, but not limited to, population size, infrastructure (such as shopping centres and entertainment precincts), seasonal trends, and the extent to which crime is reported to or detected by police. Consideration should be given to factors influencing crime when interpreting statistics.
Crime statistics are updated on a quarterly basis in the last week of January, April, July and October. Offence count data is subject to revision as police investigations may not be finalised at the time the data is published.
Information you need to know
For an explanation of offence types and terminology, our Quality Statement, and the methodology underpinning the production of WA Crime Statistics, please view the explanatory material.
Download Reports and Data
The ‘Year to Date Annual Crime Statistics’ tab provides a snapshot of crime and the crime rate per 100,000 people for the state of Western Australia (WA), the two Regions (Metropolitan and Regional WA) and each individual police district.
The ‘Crime Time Series Data’ tab provides crime data for the state of Western Australia (WA), the two Regions (Metropolitan and Regional WA) and each individual police district from January 2007 onwards.
Archived Crime Statistics Reports
From 2017-18 the WA Police Force revised offence classifications and reporting processes. These archived reports are based on the previous model and are not comparable to current data.
The Explanatory Material provides information to assist with understanding the WA Crime Statistics data. It includes information on how WA Crime Statistics are collected, processed, defined and counted.
For information on the meanings behind the offence names please refer to the Glossary.
If you are interested in a brief overview of the quality of the WA Crime Statistics, please refer to the Quality Statement.
If you are interested in understanding how crime data is compiled and the methods underpinning this, please see the Explanatory Notes.