City under siege: Crime perception vs. reality

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg says, "I live here, I'm raising my family here, so we have a lot more work to do."

FOX 5 NY's Lisa Evers spoke one-on-one with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in Harlem. He's referring to the latest NYPD statistics that show shooting incidents down 24.7%, in the first six months of this year and murders down by 3%. Robberies burglaries and shoplifting also declined. He told Lisa one reason is daily communication between prosecutors and law enforcement partners.

"We do a number of long-term investigations involving wire taps," Bragg said. "We do targeted enforcement, so we are seeing the returns on that investigative work, and we're going to do that kind of work."


NYC crime: Is the city under siege from criminals?

New Yorkers are questioning if the city is under siege by criminals after violence has been captured on video almost every week.

For many city residents we spoke with, their daily experiences play a bigger role in their perception of crime than any statistics. One building super was once again painting over graffiti near the front entrance and told me crime is out of control. 

"Yesterday, you see the car, he's crushing it, he took the baseball bat, it's terrible." 

I asked him, "He smashed the car with a baseball bat?" He replied, "Yes."

Others say it all depends on where you are. One man told us, "I think it's still iffy. It depends on the neighborhood that you're in, and the time of day, you might run into something."

A longtime resident told us, "Personally, I've had no incidents on the streets." Another resident said, "I see it all the time; I didn't see nothing change."

Many also expressed concerns about the subways, including DA, Bragg, who acknowledged the perception issue personally. 

"I know the statistics that transit crime is down," he offered, "but when one of my family members gets on the train, I get a knot in my stomach."

The Manhattan DA says he and his staff will continue to find new ways to use existing laws for targeted investigations to take violent criminals off the streets.