According to the latest realestate.com.au Life in Australia Index report, most Perth residents believe living in a safe area is the most important factor in deciding whether an area is a good place to live. The report surveyed 9,515 Australians and found that, of those who lived in Perth, 72% ranked feeling safe as their number one consideration. This factor was placed higher than the availability of ‘affordable, decent housing’ (57%), ‘high-quality health services’ (56%), ‘good job prospects’ (39%) and ‘access to the natural environment’ (34%). Perth residents also valued safety more than residents in any other major Australian capital city.
So, where are the safest neighbourhoods in Perth? After analysing data from the Western Australia Police Force, Canstar identified the 10 suburbs in Perth with the lowest crime rates by population. We also asked an insurer for its perspective on how crime rates can affect the price of home insurance premiums.
What are the safest suburbs in Perth?
The 10 Perth suburbs with the lowest crime rates between July 2018 and June 2019 were:
- Iluka: 1.33 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Mahogany Creek: 1.56 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Hovea: 1.77 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Stoneville: 1.81 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Parkerville: 1.89 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Tapping: 2.04 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Burns Beach: 2.34 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Connolly: 2.36 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Roleystone: 2.64 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Darch: 2.70 reported incidents per 100 residents
These suburbs had the lowest rates of selected criminal offences from July 2018 to June 2019, based on Canstar’s analysis of WA Police Force data. Criminal offences analysed included assault, robbery, burglary, stealing and property damage. This was weighed against the number of residents in each suburb, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Iluka had the lowest crime rate over the year with 70 reported incidents and a recorded population of 5,265 people. Located north of the CBD in the City of Joondalup, Iluka is known for being a quiet beachside suburb. Other Joondalup suburbs that made the top 10 were Burns Beach and Connolly. Nearby northern suburb Tapping also cracked the list.
Canstar identified another cluster of low-crime suburbs in the Shire of Mundaring – Mahogany Creek, Hovea, Stoneville and Parkerville. The Shire is part of the Perth Hills with 46% of its total area being made up of national parks, forests and reserves.
Which Perth suburbs have the highest crime rates?
Canstar also identified the Perth suburbs with the highest number of recorded criminal offences, based on WA Police Force data. The 10 suburbs with the highest crime rates from July 2018 to June 2019 were:
- Northbridge: 257.38 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Kwinana Town Centre: 211.65 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Neerabup: 106.73 reported incidents per 100 residents
- O’Connor: 88.98 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Burswood: 58.80 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Midland: 58.59 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Fremantle: 47.58 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Cockburn Central: 46.43 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Midvale: 44.65 reported incidents per 100 residents
- Haynes: 41.97 reported incidents per 100 residents
Northbridge had the highest crime rate by population with nearly 2.6 incidents per resident. Northbridge is an inner-city suburb that is one of Perth’s main cultural hubs. Known for its food, shops and nightlife, the suburb is home to landmarks like the Perth Cultural Centre, Russell Square and Chinatown.
In 2018-2019, Northbridge had 3,364 reported incidents and a recorded population of 1,307 people. Of these incidents, almost a third were stealing offences (1,016). This was followed by fraud and related offences (817) and non-family assault (534).
Kwinana Town Centre to the south of Perth also had a high crime rate. This may be due in part to the fact that it is primarily a commercial area, being home to the Kwinana Marketplace, and only has a small residential population (249 people). Of the 527 reported incidents in 2018-2019, over half of these were stealing offences (280).
Which Perth suburbs have the most home insurance claims?
Looking to household crime, analysis from RAC revealed the WA suburbs with the most home break-ins in 2017, based on over 4,400 claims. For Perth specifically, RAC identified Gosnells, Thornlie, Morley, Dianella and Balga as being amongst the suburbs with the highest number of home burglary insurance claims.
Gosnells and Thornlie are both part of the City of Gosnells and located about 20 kilometres south-east of the CBD.
How can a suburb’s ‘safety’ affect the cost of home and contents insurance?
In addition to potential safety concerns, living in a high-crime neighbourhood may also affect your hip pocket. According to insurer Guild Insurance, if an area is statistically shown to be prone to more crime or house damage, this can affect how much it costs an insurer to provide home and contents insurance. This may result in higher premiums for customers in these areas.
However, Guild Insurance said this is just one aspect of how it calculates premiums. Other factors, such as whether your suburb is susceptible to natural disasters like floods and bushfires, are typically more important in determining cost.
If you live in a high-crime area, one way you may be able to reduce premiums is to install additional security measures. Security features such as deadlocks and monitored alarms, could reduce the risk of crime-related claims and would generally be reflected in a lower insurance premium, Guild Insurance told Canstar.
Note: Top 10 lists above are based on Perth suburbs (per REIWA) with the lowest or highest rate of reported incidents per 100 residents recorded during the 2016 Census. Suburbs with less than 100 residents and suburbs with no 2016 Census data were excluded.
Main image source: bmphotographer (Shutterstock)
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