THE APPARENT rise in crime in the county is due to a new crime-recording standard, according to Cheshire police.
The National Crime Recording Standard, introduced in April 2002, has been in operation for 12 months.
A police spokesman said: 'The new system alters the way crimes are recorded and counted by the police, adding new offences and including incidents that would not previously have been recorded as crimes.
'Nationally, the impact has been to increase recorded crime by around 23%. In Cheshire the rise has been 19%. The biggest impact has been in terms of violent crime. Most of the 78% increase is as a result of more low-level assaults being recorded.'
Chief Superintendent Kevin Hamilton said: 'The police now have to record instances where people do not want to make a complaint.
'This includes instances where friends fall out and then make their peace. No charges are brought because no one wants the matter to go further - but a violent crime is still recorded.
'We have looked closely at the crime figures and are happy that counting changes are responsible for much of the increase, rather than any explosion in public disorder or criminality.
'If a member of the public reports anything to us that they believe is criminal it will be recorded as a crime unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.'
Record detection rates for crime in Cheshire are being matched by record figures for arrests. Between April and June, there were 14% more than in the previous three months.
The spokesman added: '2002Ú003 was a record year, with police success against persistent crime reflected in a massive rise of 4,182 offences detected.
'Investment in forensic science, automatic number-plate recognition equipment, and extra police officers and police staff meant that Cheshire Constabulary's custody suites were busier than ever before.'