UK
23/06/2015 07:12 BST | Updated 23/06/2015 07:59 BST

Throwing Biscuits At Someone Is Now Actutal Bodily Harm Under New Police Rules

Throwing biscuits at someone counts as Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) under new police rules which are being blamed for a spike in crime.

Norfolk has had a 14% increase in crime during the past year after new regulations were introduced requiring police to record minor incidents as violent crimes, according to Sky News. The rules came into force after an inquiry into how police were recording incidents took place in 2013.

Under the rules, an incident where a child who caught his sibling with a boxing glove was classified as ABH, as was a case where a child brushed another young person with a stinging nettle.

And in one particularly cautionary tale, a woman who threw a biscuit at a man - leaving a small red mark - also found her actions classed as ABH.

A case involving a boy who rode into his friend while performing wheelies was classed as assault.

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Step away from the Jammie Dodgers...

‘Malicious communications’, which include texts, letters and emails, are also now classed as violent crimes. This has added an extra 183 offences to the ‘violent’ band, according to Metro.

Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett said: "You could not make this up. I am sure people will find these examples of what the police are having to record as violent crime hard to believe to say the least. I frankly couldn't believe what I was reading.

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"Is it any wonder we have seen a rise in recorded violent crime in Norfolk if these types of incidents have to be logged."

He added: “The last thing I want to do is to trivialise any incident where there is a victim, but I am struggling to see how someone being hit by a biscuit or brushed by a stinging nettle fits anyone’s idea of a violent crime.

“I think people will also be surprised that text messages are ‘violent’.

“There is a danger that when people see a raw headline that ‘violent crime is up in Norfolk’, the fear of crime could rise. That is why I feel it is important to highlight this issue and make people aware."

Commissioner Bett said that although crimes had to be recorded, police did not always seek to arrest or prosecute alleged offenders.

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