CRIME in Dorset has risen by more than 10 per cent over the course of the past year.

Top officers for the force say the figures, revealed by the government's Office for National Statistics, show 'increased confidence' in policing.

A spokesperson said: "We have seen an increase in total crime, which is reflected nationally with an average rise of 15.3 per cent seen across England and Wales, compared to 10.7 per cent in Dorset.

"Over the past two years we have worked closely with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and the Police and Crime Commissioner to improve our compliance with complex Home Office rules on how crime must be recorded, which has been helped by the introduction of new computer systems.

"Like other forces, we have also seen crime rises in recent years due to increased confidence in people coming forwards to us.

"This is particularly the case for crimes such as domestic abuse and sexual offences, where increased reporting follows a number of high-profile investigations nationally and work locally to support victims.

"The force will continue to place a strong emphasis on our reporting responsibilities, even if this leads to an increase in reported crime, as accurate crime reporting is essential to maintain public trust."