BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Crime has increased in the City of Bakersfield compared to this time last year, according to the police chief.

During a one-on-one virtual interview on 17 News on Sunrise, Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Terry said crimes, including aggravated assaults and property thefts, have increased 10-15 percent “compared to the same time period last year.”

He also said combatting street racing remains a major priority for the force.

“It occurs throughout the city” Terry said. “A lot of our complaints are coming from the southwest, but it’s an issue coming throughout our community… It is a complaint we get thousands of times per year,” he continued.

“I want our community to know we’re serious about this, and work on it as much as we can.”

While it’s clear the city is experiencing increased crime, Terry said it’s too early to pinpoint specific causes or the uptick, but he acknowledged the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders may be fueling the fire.

Now, he says his department is working hard to make the streets safer.

“There are some serious public safety issues we’re working on to increase safety in our community, but it is quite a challenge, particularly now.”