26 May 2009

Anti-crime patrol ceases after shot fired

12:30 pm on 26 May 2009

An anti-crime patrol group in Martinborough has voluntarily stood down after shot was fired during an altercation between patrol members and local youths.

Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson of Masterton police says one of the night patrol members fired a warning shot into the air after being confronted by the youths on Thursday night.

She says a 19-year-old Carterton man faces assault charges and a 33-year-old Martinborough man has been charged with firearms offences as a result of the incident.

Senior Sergeant Watson says more arrests are likely and the group has stood down voluntarily while the incident is investigated.

Local cafe owner Mike Topp, who belongs to a separate police-sanctioned community group, says patrols have had a huge impact in reducing local crime.

Mr Topp says the other group has been helping by bolster the number of patrols, which are now carried out during week nights as well as at weekends. He says that group does not carry firearms.