THE number of recorded crimes in Herefordshire has jumped 17 per cent from 3,125 to 3,686.

Police say the rise, for the months of April, May and June, is due to a change in the procedure for recording crime.

Following home office guidelines introduced at the beginning of May police forces across the country have shifted from 'evidence based recording' to 'prima facie recording'.

The change means that crime statistics will include 'absolutely everything' police have knowledge of, whether or not a complaint has been made or a suspect identified.

While the police do not think the increase reflects a rise in the number of crimes committed they do think it is a truer reflection of the reality of crime in the county.

One of the largest apparent increases was of violent crime. The number of assaults and robberies recorded more than doubled from 173 last year to 409 in the same period this year.

The police were said to be surprised at this jump but concluded that the overall increase was in line with that predicted.

Behind the change in procedure is an estimate from national crime surveys that 10 million crimes go unreported in the UK each year.

The detection rate for the same period rose from 28.2 per cent to 30.7 per cent.