Gisborne Community Patrols have been suspended after police expressed concern about its operating procedures.
Community Patrols of New Zealand (CPNZ) last month requested the Gisborne patrol to voluntarily cease activity immediately, after concerns were expressed by local police about divisiveness within the group and its failure to work under the national guidelines.
Tairawhitii Area Commander Inspector Sam Aberahama said police had lost confidence in the patrol, with some members of the group expressing issues with conducting "overt" patrols and wearing high-visibility vests.
Those members were also refusing to patrol identified problematic areas and were not focused on deterrent or preventive activity.
He said the patrol had been operating well until the recent setbacks but asked for future operations to focus on reducing the number of victims.
"I would like to acknowledge all community patrollers for the outstanding voluntary service they have made to our community over the years. Their support of the police has been very well received and appreciated," Mr Aberahama said.
"Looking forward, the focus of the patrol will be more towards preventing crime by being in the right place at the right time, not wait until the crime is committed to catch the offender. I want fewer victims, not more."
The Gisborne group had been offered help by police, but it had not been accepted.
Police have also denied allegations by patrol member David Hall that the group was "locked out" of the Gisborne police station.
"That is totally incorrect and Mr Hall is resorting to emotive allegations to engender support for his cause," Mr Aberahama said.
Community patrols nationwide are tasked by local police on what activities they should undertake on a weekly or daily basis.
CPNZ also have national guidelines that all groups are expected to abide by.
"These are developed in conjunction with police and focus on preventive work in the community, in line with police's Prevention First policy.
Police said the Gisborne group was not following those directives, however, community patrols are reported to be running successfully in Wairoa and Tolaga Bay.
The CPNZ Eastern District representative will shortly advertise for community volunteers to be a part of a new group that will commence operating in the next couple of months.
Interest has been shown by some local church groups and police envisaged that the group will grow to up to 100 volunteers.