Raleigh police look for community’s help battling crime on Bragg Street

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Crime can happen anywhere in Raleigh, but for one downtown neighborhood – a single street seems to attract a high number of crimes.

After obtaining Raleigh Police Department records, CBS 17 found out on just the 500 block of Bragg Street alone, police are called an average of 18 times a month.

If you include police officers making their own calls, that number jumps up to about 50 a month.

Calls vary from security checks to assaults to drugs.

“Bragg Street does present some challenges. It is a community that is in change and there are some areas of concern,” said Major Tommy Vestal with RPD.

Vestal oversaw all operations in the downtown district for two years, which includes Bragg Street.

He told CBS 17 he’s not surprised by the high volume of calls there given its history.

CBS 17 asked how RPD can get the numbers down so it’s no longer the norm.

“Of course, that’s the question that we’re always trying to solve,” he answered.

He said they’re focused on education, engagement and enforcement in the neighborhood.

He added they really need the community to partner with them.

“We can look at the numbers and the data and sort of have an idea of how to respond, but it’s not going to tell the whole story,” said Vestal.

Many activists are also asking community members to speak up.

“It’s a 50/50 effort,” said activist Robert Belcher. “The community who sees this before they call the police, you know who these people are. The situation keeps happening. You know who’s doing what.”

Police said even if people think their tip is nothing, it can be a small piece to a much bigger puzzle.

“Most of the time, it’s not about enforcing laws,” said Major Vestal. “It’s about solving these issues and bringing the right answers to the table that ultimately make life better for people on this street.”

Police are also launching a faith-based program called I-CARE in January.

They’ll hold monthly meetings to go over these community issues.

More headlines from CBS17.com:

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