Warning not to confront offenders

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2013

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Taranaki Neighbourhood Support members are being urged not to put themselves in danger after the death of a Tauranga man.

Neighbourhood watch co-ordinator Lance Scullin was assaulted with a fence paling on Saturday night by a group of people fighting outside his Tauranga home after he tried to break up the disturbance.

North Taranaki field officer Debbie Gut said the organisation did not encourage members to confront offenders.

"That's not what Neighbourhood Support is about, going out to sort out problems. It's about helping to minimise crime in your area and keeping your area safe from crime," Ms Gut said.

Neighbourhood Support advised members to call the police if there was a problem, she said.

"The police are trained to deal with those situations."

Senior Sergeant Matt Prendergast, of Waitara, echoed Ms Gut's advice.

He said if people were concerned about suspicious activity they should contact the police and not put themselves in harm's way.

"It's far better to do that than go out there and stumble into something you weren't expecting. The person might have a weapon or there might be a bigger group than you expected," Mr Prendergast said.

"What is going to happen if it all turns nasty? Don't feel as if you have to confront them all by yourself - that's what the police are for."

A 32-year-old Tauranga man has been charged with assault with intent to injure and common assault over Mr Scullin's death, and participating in an organised criminal group.

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