Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Crime costs Australia almost $32 billion each year

Media Release

09 April 2003

A report released today by the Australian Institute of Criminology found that crime costs Australia $19 billion while the costs in dealing with crime cost close to another $13 billion. This is nearly $1,600 per person in Australia and 5 per cent of GDP.

"Estimating the cost of crime is important in directing law enforcement resources and activities to areas where they will be of most benefit", said Dr Adam Graycar, AIC Director. "It also allows targeting of crime prevention efforts and some basis for future cost-benefit analysis of the prevention efforts", he said.

The report found:

  • Homicide carries the highest cost per victim of $1.6 million. The total homicide cost was $930 million.
  • Theft of vehicles cost $880 million overall and an average of $6,000 for each vehicle stolen (the second highest incident cost after homicide).
  • Assault accounts for $1.44 billion, with an average of $1,800 per assault.
  • Burglary cost $2,410 million, an average of $2,400 per burglary.
  • The cost of robbery in Australia was $600 million, an average of $3,600 per robbery.
  • The cost of fraud ($5.88 billion) was nearly a third of the total cost of the crimes.
  • The human costs of drug abuse amounted to $1.96 billion, which is in addition to the cost of property and violent crime which may be committed to fund a drug habit.
Total costs of crime
$ million
Costs in dealing with crime
Criminal justice system 6,400
Private security industry 3,140
Household precautions 1,830
Provision for victims 880
Insurance administrative costs 500
Sub-total 12,750
Crime costs
Property loss 4,070
Medical costs 250
Lost output 2,180
Intangible losses 3,320
Arson 1,350
Drugs (not elsewhere included) 1,960
Fraud 5,880
Sub-total 19,030
Total 31,780
Note: Figures may not sum to total due to rounding.