As a result of new rules to log minor incidents as serious offences, there has been a 14% spike in crime statistics say Norfolk Police.

Other examples include a young boy who was bought a boxing glove by his parents. He was swinging it round and caught his small sibling with it, which was documented as actual bodily harm (ABH).

A woman who threw a biscuit at a man, leaving a small red mark was also put down as ABH.

Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Stephen Bett told the Eastern Daily Press: "You could not make this up – it's jaw dropping. 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. Is it any wonder we have seen a rise in recorded violent crime in Norfolk if these types of incidents are having to be logged? 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 also 'violent'. There is a danger that when people see a raw headline that violent crime is up in Norfolk that fear of crime could rise. That is why I feel it is important to highlight this issue and make people aware."

Other examples of ABH include a child who brushed a stinging nettle across another's arm. A child who rode into his friend while he was riding a wheelie was classified as assault.

Bett said although police had to record such crimes rigorously, it did not always seek to arrest or prosecute the alleged offenders.

The Home Office rules came into force after an inspection of police crime recording in 2013.

The National Police Chiefs Council's lead for crime recording, Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, of Gwent Police, said it meant there was "little room for further assessment or the use of professional discretion which may have historically taken place".

He added: "Consequently a number of forces have seen a sharp rise in some offences such as assault without injury, criminal damage and public order."

The police had dealt with 'malicious communications' as non-crimes. These relate to any offensive text or letter sent to people and now an extra 183 offences have fallen into the volume violence band since April.

Most of these involve people sending texts and could add more than 1,000 violent crimes a year in Norfolk.