14 Oct 2011

Tourists assaulted in Paihia

7:22 am on 14 October 2011

The community patrol group in Paihia plans to increase its presence on the streets after violent attacks on two tourists.

An American backpacker had his head stomped on and was left unconscious in the middle of the road on Tuesday night.

An hour later, a 22-year old Englishman in the country for the Rugby World Cup was beaten and robbed as he walked home after a swim.

Community patrol leader Martin Crooks says the attacks were the first since volunteers began more than two years ago to patrol the town on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Mr Crooks says the group will now keep watch on other nights as well and he expects the police will also step up their efforts.

Sergeant Peter Masters of Paihia police says residents are worried about the effect of publicity on the town's image as a safe tourist spot.

He says two 16-year-olds have been charged with aggravated robbery.