Lewes Crime Overview

Lewes is the second most dangerous small town in East Sussex, and is among the top 20 most dangerous overall out of East Sussex's 109 towns, villages, and cities. The overall crime rate in Lewes in 2020 was 67 crimes per 1,000 people. This compares favourably to East Sussex's overall crime rate, coming in 2.1% lower than the East Sussex rate of 68 per 1,000 residents. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as a whole, Lewes is the 239th most dangerous small town, and the 1,642nd most dangerous location out of all towns, cities, and villages.

In November 2020, Lewes was the worst small town in East Sussex for bicycle theft, with 2 crimes reported and a crime rate of 0.11 per 1,000 inhabitants. December 2020 was also a bad month for Lewes residents, when it was East Sussex's most dangerous small town for burglary, recording 7 crimes at a rate of 0.39 per 1,000 residents. Lewes recorded 16 reports of criminal damage and arson during November 2020, making its crime rate of 0.89 the worst small town for criminal damage and arson in East Sussex that month.

The most common crimes in Lewes are violence and sexual offences, with 495 offences during 2020, giving a crime rate of 28. This is 3.4% lower than 2019's figure of 512 offences and a difference of 0.94 from 2019's crime rate of 29. Lewes's least common crime is robbery, with 7 offences recorded in 2020, a decrease of 71% from 2019's figure of 12 crimes.

Compare Lewes to other towns and cities

See how Lewes shapes up compared to other locations around the country, including side-by-side comparisons of specific crime types, and separate charting of how Lewes and your comparison town's crime rates stack up against one another.

Lewes Crime Map

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Crime in Lewes Compared To East Sussex

Summary of Crimes in Lewes This Year

 LewesEast Sussex 
CrimeCountRateCountRateRate Difference
Anti-Social Behaviour63735.5024,03428.3420% more dangerous
Bicycle Theft211.171,2761.5028% safer
Burglary693.853,0413.597% more dangerous
Criminal Damage and Arson1729.596,9618.2114% more dangerous
Drugs362.012,2032.6029% safer
Other Crime402.231,2841.5132% more dangerous
Other Theft703.904,8155.6846% safer
Possession of Weapons90.508140.9692% safer
Public Order1397.756,2947.424.3% more dangerous
Robbery70.396080.7285% safer
Shoplifting784.353,3743.989% more dangerous
Theft From the Person130.725510.6510% more dangerous
Vehicle Crime462.563,1813.7546% safer
Violence and Sexual Offences49527.5923,27827.450.51% more dangerous

Lewes Compared to Nearby Small Towns

Small TownTotal CrimesCrime RateRate Difference
Seaford94238.2374% safer
Uckfield63241.8359% safer
Polegate47550.6931% safer
Peacehaven82953.5024% safer
Hailsham1,34959.6512% safer
Lewes1,19566.60-
Newhaven1,11284.9222% more dangerous

Crime Over Time in Lewes

View crime percentage over time for

Lewes Crime Trends

 Crime Rate Per 1,000 Residents 
Crime2017201820192020Trend
Anti-Social Behaviour36283036Getting worse
Bicycle Theft1.92.12.61.2Safer
Burglary53.963.8Safer
Criminal Damage and Arson10121110Safer
Drugs1.61.81.92.0Getting worse
Other Crime3.22.81.72.2Safer
Other Theft8783.9Safer
Possession of Weapons0.670.670.890.50Safer
Public Order6878Getting worse
Robbery (inc. mugging)0.170.500.670.39Safer
Shoplifting7854.4Safer
Theft From the Person (inc. pickpocketing)1.31.51.20.72Safer
Vehicle Crime3.93.872.6Safer
Violence and Sexual Offences23312928Getting worse

Changes In Lewes's Crime Rates Over Time

Offences in Lewes's Green Spaces

We only display green spaces in Lewes that are named, and have had crimes recorded within their boundaries during 2020.

NameASBDrugsPublic OrderRobberyVSOAll OthersCrimes per Hectare
Baxter's Field10----16
Convent Field Playing Field3-1--51.9
The Paddock21---12.1

Comparing Lewes to the UK's Major Cities

Small TownCrime RateRate Difference
Lewes66.60-
Barnet67.711.6% more dangerous
Coventry77.4114% more dangerous
Croydon83.2220% more dangerous
Sheffield85.8122% more dangerous
Bristol86.2123% more dangerous
Leicester97.4432% more dangerous
Birmingham102.8735% more dangerous
Liverpool107.2838% more dangerous
Bradford133.0250% more dangerous
Leeds137.1051% more dangerous

Crime in Lewes's Neighbourhoods

NeighbourhoodCrime CountCrime RateDanger Rank
Lewes Central & East73673First
Lewes West46860Second

Crime in Lewes During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Looking at the months the UK was in lockdown in 2020 due to Covid-19, how did crime rates in Lewes change compared to the same month in 2019? The biggest increase in lockdown crime came in July, when Lewes saw a 300% increase in drugs. Lewes saw a large fall in vehicle crime during April, when it fell by 90% compared to April in 2019. Other Theft saw a fall in every month of Lewes's lockdown.

CrimeMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Anti-Social Behaviour+43%+43%+95%+36%-+40%-+5%+2%-59%
Bicycle Theft-40%--50%-33%-33%-57%-50%-+100%-
Burglary+30%--38%-73%-14%-22%-27%-38%-40%+75%
Criminal Damage and Arson+86%-72%-50%+23%-26%+64%--8%-20%-50%
Drugs---40%-+300%+150%+50%--25%-67%
Other Crime+67%+150%-+100%+125%----67%-
Other Theft-71%-55%-80%-11%-45%-71%-17%-55%+50%-69%
Possession of Weapons----+50%--33%---
Public Order+25%-50%+20%-24%+18%+36%-+67%+9%-15%
Robbery----50%------
Shoplifting+86%-38%--67%-38%-33%+17%+33%-14%-17%
Theft From the Person--+100%--+50%-+200%--60%
Vehicle Crime-61%-90%-73%-87%-29%-67%+200%+20%-57%-71%
Violence and Sexual Offences+5%+2%-21%-21%-19%-+40%-34%-20%-20%

Frequently Asked Questions About Crime in Lewes

What police force serves Lewes?
Lewes's local territorial police force is the Sussex Police.
How dangerous is Lewes?
Lewes is the second most dangerous small town in East Sussex.
What is Lewes's most common crime?
The most common crimes in Lewes are violence and sexual offences.
What is the least common crime in Lewes?
Lewes's least common crime is robbery (inc. mugging).

Last updated: 07 May 2021