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City Safety

Adelaide is a relatively safe city by international standards and was rated Australia’s safest city in 2013[1]. In 2015, Adelaide was again rated the world’s fifth most liveable city in a survey of 140 cities[2]. Stability and safety were prominent factors, with Adelaide enjoying relatively low population density and crime levels.

Althought relatively safe, it is still important for people who live in or visit the city to take steps towards their personal safety and security of their belongings. South Australia Police have a range of useful safety booklets and factsheets available on their website.

City of Adelaide is committed to ensuring that the city is safe and welcoming for residents and visitors. We work with the community and other stakeholders to deliver a range of safety initiatives and projects that promotes vibrancy and wellbeing. The focus of Council’s work with communities will be on enabling them to increase actual and perceived safety by strengthening neighbourhood connections, reducing social isolation and improving wellbeing and resilience. The Safer City Strategy outlines Council’s strategic plan for enabling people to use the city safely and identifies important community safety, health and emergency management outcomes for the city. 

2016 data provided by the Office of Crime Statistics and Research (OCSAR) shows that crime in Adelaide CBD has declined by 43.6% since its peak in 2002.To read further about the improvements in community safety see our 2002-2016 Community Safety Fact Sheet.


Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is an internationally recognised theoretical framework to guide approaches in the prevention of crime through influencing design and the built environment to positively impact upon crime levels, perceptions of safety and quality of life. CPTED is about designing safer, more welcoming places for people to live, work and play. Council also considers CPTED principles when planning public space development and assessing private development applications.

Adelaide has six late-night managed taxi ranks, supported by City of Adelaide and the Taxi Council of SA. Managed taxi ranks are clearly signposted, well-lit, covered by CCTV and staffed by security personnel between midnight and 3am at a minimum – longer in West End ranks. The location of Adelaide’s managed taxi ranks can be found here.

The City streets and squares are dry areas 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. It is illegal to consume alcohol or carry an open liquor container in public space. Council is also currently trialling a timed Adelaide Park Lands dry area between 8pm and 11am the next day. The Adelaide Park Lands are a designated dry area between 8pm and 11am the next day, and this arrangement is due to expire on 22 September 2019. If you wish to consume alcohol during the times that is covered by a dry area you must obtain a liquor licence through Consumer and Business Services.

City of Adelaide owns and maintains the City Safe CCTV network across the Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide. This network is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a branch of SA Police. 

Safety Lighting Audits are undertaken regularly in the city. Council uses CPTED principles to assess safety aspects of the physical environment of locations to help determine priorities for safety improvements.

City of Adelaide uses white and cooler lighting to create feelings of ambience and improve the visual amenity of City spaces at night, making it safer and easier for pedestrians and CCTV operators to distinguish objects, colours, shapes and other details. 

Council convenes and chairs the Community Safety Insights Group, which meets quarterly to discuss safety information and safety-related projects relevant to the city. The group has representatives from SA Police, Drugs & Alcohol Services SA, Ambulance Service SA and others as required.

Council advocates on behalf of its residents and city users to other levels of government on alcohol and late night economy management issues. Council has provided a number of submissions to State Government on a range of alcohol-related reviews in recent years. Copies of these submissions are available upon request.

Council delivers or brokers initiatives for vulnerable people, including people experiencing homelessness in the city. We use a range of strategies to connect with the homelessness sector and support their activities including neighbourhood development, provision of community infrastructure (libraries and community centres) and community grant funding. We also have an active role in providing linkages and referrals for people sleeping rough in the city and the Adelaide Park Lands to relevant services that address housing and health needs. Council produces a guide to homelessness services that details the range of services available and their location. You can download a copy of the map here.

For any further enquiries on Council’s safety initiatives, please contact the Customer Service Centre on (08) 8203 7203.

[1] Suncorp Bank Family Friendly City Report 2013

[2] The Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) liveability survey annually rates 140 cities out of 100, in the areas of health care, education, stability, culture and environment and infrastructure. Adelaide has been rated the world’s fifth most liveable City since 2012.

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