Media Release: Cost-of-living pressures may be contributing to 17% increase in thefts during the last 12 months

The Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) released the Victorian recorded crime statistics for the year ending 31 March 2024 today.


The rate of recorded offences increased, up 5.5% to 7,687.5 per 100,000 Victorians in the last 12 months, while the number of offences increased 7.9% to 535,673. While Property and deception offences had the largest increase in the last 12 months, up 14.6% or 38,062 to 299,338 offences they remain below the record peak in offences of 324,062 in 2017. The main driver of the increase was Theft up 26,361 to 181,665 offences with Steal from a motor vehicle the largest contributor up 9,281 to 59,160 offences in the last 12 months.

In the 12 months to 31 March 2024, the number of criminal incidents increased, up 10.1% or 36,431 to 396,238 incidents. The rate also increased, up 7.7% to 5,686.4 per 100,000 Victorians. Despite recent increases in Property and deception offences these numbers are also below pre-COVID numbers.

Alleged offender incidents increased 9.4% to 171,398 in the last 12 months, as did the rate up 6.9% to 2,781.0 per 100,000. Theft offences increased by 48.3% or 7,048 to 33,671 alleged offender incidents. Specifically, Steal from a retail store incidents increased 38.3% or 3,901 to 14,078 alleged offender incidents.

The victimisation rate increased by 7.6% to 3,299.0 reports per 100,000 Victorians. The number of person-related victim reports was up 10.0% to 229,878 and organisation reports was up 21.7% to 88,034. Theft offences drove the increase in Person related victim reports (up 17.0% to 97,382 person victim reports). 

Family incidents increased by 3.1% in the last 12 months, with 95,982 incidents recorded across Victoria. The rate of family incidents remained stable, up 0.8% or 1,377.4 incidents per 100,000 Victorians.

CSA Chief Statistician Fiona Dowsley said that “there has been a 17% increase in theft offences recorded in the last 12 months, driven by the highest ever numbers of steal from a retail store offences, as well as sizable increases in steal from a motor vehicle and burglary offences”.

“This rapid increase in crimes involving the acquisition of property may be related to cost of living pressures. The increase in property-related crime was largest contributor to the overall increase in crime in the last year. Alleged offenders being recorded for these crimes are drawn from all age groups, especially Steal from a retail store which is above pre-COVID levels” Ms Dowsley said.

More detailed information is available on the latest crime data webpage.
For further information please contact: 
Crime Statistics Agency