Whatever caused the death of Merivale man Lance Scullin, his passing will obviously be a big loss to the community he so valiantly protected.

When most of us hear a disturbance in our street we peer through the curtains, lock the doors and if it gets bad enough, call police or noise control.

A rare few risk putting themselves in harm's way to protect strangers.

Well known and loved in his own community, Mr Scullin was not a household name in Tauranga.


Only in death have his brave efforts to protect others and make his neighbourhood a safer place made local and national headlines.

People like him deserve to be recognised more in our communities.

Fear, and at times disinterest, prevent a lot of people from involving themselves in situations where others, including innocent victims, have the potential to be harmed.

It's certainly a lot easier to turn a blind eye or walk away from trouble than involve yourself, especially when there's more likely to be a personal cost rather than a reward for stepping in.

The police can only do so much with the limited time and resources they have and peacemakers like Mr Scullin can often diffuse aggravation or violence before it erupts.

They don't wear a uniform and are sometimes seen as less intimidating than police officers, while still managing to prevent crime in their neighbourhood.

Police yesterday released the results of the post-mortem examination on Mr Scullin, which suggests he did not die as a result of injuries caused by being assaulted.

Regardless, his actions that night were brave and questions remain over whether he would still be here if he had stayed inside that night.