While crime in Antarctica is relatively rare, isolation and boredom affect certain people there negatively and may lead to crime. Alcoholism is a known problem on the continent, and has led to fights and indecent exposure. Other types of crimes that have occurred in Antarctica include illicit drug use, torturing and killing wildlife, racing motorbikes through environmentally sensitive areas, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, and arson. Sexual harassment also has been reported.
Robberies are rare and unlikely in Antarctica because people entering cannot bring many belongings onto the continent, and because there is very little use for money.
Under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, ratified by 53 nations, persons accused of a crime in Antarctica are subject to punishment by their own country.
South African citizens in Antarctica are subject to South African law under the South African Citizens in Antarctica Act, 1962. Violations of the Antarctic Treaty System are criminal offences under the Antarctic Treaties Act, 1996. Under these two acts, Antarctica is deemed to be within the jurisdiction of the magistrate's court at Cape Town.
The Antarctic Act 1994 extends the laws of every part of the United Kingdom to UK nationals in Antarctica. Additionally, the Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory may enact laws for the territory.
The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 (enacted 12 October 1984) covers crimes committed by Americans or crimes committed against Americans. Any American who is outside of the United States, but not in another country, is still subject to certain U.S. laws. All Americans committing a crime, and any foreigner committing a crime against an American outside of a sovereign state, are subject to prosecution in a U.S. federal court. This includes international waters and Antarctica. Although nations claim territory in Antarctica, the United States does not recognize these claims.
Examples of crimes covered by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 include murder, maiming, rape, arson, treason, and bribing a federal official.
The Australian Antarctic Division released an external review in 2022 revealing allegations of sexual harassment.  The division director stepped down in 2023, ahead of the release of additional findings from a subsequent inquiry. 
The United States Antarctic Program commissioned an external review following allegations of sexual harassment. The resulting Sexual Assault/Harassment Prevention and Response (SAHPR) Report was published in 2022, highlighting issues of sexual assault and harassment, mistrust of the contracted companies, and suggesting avenues for change. In response, the US Congress Committee of Science and Technology held a session addressing the report.  In 2023, The National Science Foundation Office of the Inspector General released a report entitled Law Enforcement Perspectives on Sexual Assault and Stalking Issues Pertaining To The United States Antarctic Program.