Aussies are safer in a strip club than a church, suggests new government data.
According to the latest figures compiled by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 1600 people were charged with committing a range of 27 offences in the state's "places of worship" in 2008.
Astonishingly, the data showed only 282 people were charged with the same offences in adult entertainment premises.
"Most people would think of churches and synagogues as sanctuaries in society," News.com.au quoted bureau director Don Wedderburn, as saying.
Wedderburn added: "But maybe that's naive, because the statistics show they are likely to rob, assault or steal from people there like anywhere else. The figures are genuinely surprising."
The data showed 85 people were assaulted in places of worship, compared to 66 at an adult entertainment premises.
The report names churches, synagogues, monasteries, mosques, convents, cathedrals and chapels as places of worships.
Strip clubs, sex shops, brothels, massage parlours, homosexual clubs, gaming houses and gambling clubs fall under the category of adult entertainment premises.
Places of worship also took the lead in sexual offences (16), theft from motor vehicles (33), resisting arrest (7) and liquor offences (10).
Harassment and threatening behaviour at places of worship (30) was over 50percent more than at places of adult entertainment (13).