FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — For the first time in nine years, crime in Frederick County has increased by about 31 percent, according to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is the first increase in crime that we’ve seen in Frederick County in nine years,” Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said. “That’s including the two years of COVID, so many factors are involved.”

According to Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, the largest increase was seen in the number of thefts and assaults. Last year there were 237 assaults compared to 186 the previous year. Sheriff Jenkins says many of these incidents are due to people from larger metropolitan areas coming into Frederick County and committing crimes while there.

“There are a lot of people coming into this county, from larger jurisdictions committing some of the crimes especially allow your retail thefts, Jenkins said. “They have no respect for anything so they think they can get away with crime, especially up here, so I think that’s some of what you’re seeing.”

Although crime has increased, residents said they have confidence in Frederick County law enforcement.

“Crime does statistically go up, but it’s also cyclical, which means in the summer, it could be little fewer people, when things change like that crime changes,” Frederick resident Jim Noris said. “I think the sheriff is doing the best they can to keep it in control, that’s why I’m not worried about it.”

Jenkins said the sheriff’s office will strategically attack the problem.

“We’re going to look at our data as to where the crimes occur, we’re going to increase our directed patrols, we’re going to do everything we can on the proactive side to stem this increase,” Jenkins explained.

Although the overall average has risen, Sheriff Jenkins said the good news is that there has been a decrease in the number of homicides, arsons, robberies and motor vehicle thefts.