CRIME figures in the part Herefordshire which includes Bromyard and Ledbury have risen - but Police say it is because of a new way of recording offences.

The total number of crimes in north Herefordshire, which includes Bromyard, in April-June this year were 755. This was a rise of 22 per cent on the 616 last year.

In south Herefordshire, which includes Ledbury, the figure is 730, a four per cent rise over the previous year's 698.

The figures reflect a new policy adopted by West Mercia police. Police previously only recorded crimes that were reported officially. Now all crimes that come to their notice are recorded, even if no one makes an official complaint.

House burglaries in south Herefordshire have more than doubled, from 20 to 43, as have drug offences, from eight to 18. Violent crime rose and criminal damage is also up. But non-domestic burglaries and car thefts fell.

In north Herefordshire, violent crime more than doubled, from 34 to 77, drug offences rose from 12 to 29, and sexual offences from zero to six. Again, non-domestic burglaries fell, as did theft from motor vehicles, shoplifting and other thefts.

Sgt Pete Butcher said: "If you take out the changes caused by the new policy, then you will find that crime is nearly static.

"It's not that there are new crimes, but now when people tell us about crimes without making an official complaint, we will record it."