VIOLENT crime increased by a third during the past year, but the number of serious assaults declined, according to figures out this week.
Police blame changes to the way they record crimes for the negative trend and insist things are getting better, with higher clear-up rates in many categories.
The figures show there are now more cases of violent crime than car crime in the county, but the publication of the National Crime Statistics reveals Cheshire still has the second lowest recorded crime figures in the North West, with a detection rate 2% higher than the national average.
Household burglary is at its lowest level since 1999. Vehicle crime, too, shows an improving picture, with more crime being detected than a year ago.
But the violent crime figures reflect the national trend, mainly as a result of more low-level incidents being recorded by the police.
Assistant Chief Constable David Griffin believes there is still 'room for improvement'. He said: 'Changes in the way we are required to record crime have seen significant rises in crime statistics over the last few years.
'This year's figures show that we are moving in the right direction and that, nationally, Cheshire is one of the areas affected least by crime.
'We would not be in this enviable position without the hard work and commitment of our staff, who are dedicated to reducing crime and disorder in Cheshire and to detecting those offences that do occur.'