Connect with us


OPINION: A tough time for Phuket police



PHUKET: The past week has seen a real change in the weather in Phuket, literally and figuratively.

The monsoon season appears to finally be drawing to a close and with temperatures dropping in colder northern climes, high season is upon us. Hotel occupancy rates are rising and the island’s population continues to swell.

By some estimates Phuket’s actual population is already in excess of one million. The true figure remains unknown.

To keep everyone entertained, numerous events are planned: the 40-million baht Chang-powered Patong Carnival, the Phuket Old Town Festival and the Red Cross / News Year’s Festival, to name just a few. After last year’s airport fiasco, all of this is long-awaited good news for the tourism industry.

The huge influx onto the island, however, spells trying times for Phuket’s law enforcement community.

For every charter flight full of holidaymakers that touches down at Phuket International Airport, it is safe to assume there is a busload full of migrant workers rolling into the provincial bus terminal, all hoping to reap benefits from the extra cash being spent in the province at this time of year.

While the vast majority of these arrivals are honest and hardworking, the sheer number of incoming migrants combined with the current state of the economy make an increase in crime almost inevitable.

As if on cue, the past week has also seen what appears to be a dramatic rise in the number of violent crime: a wild shootout between police and alleged thieves in one of the island’s most popular parks; a woman brutally disfigured in a senseless acid attack (see front page story, this week’s Gazette); a transgender restaurant worker shot through the temple point blank in Wichit; a monk and a merit-maker run over and killed by a hit-and-run driver; a Rajabhat Phuket freshman stabbed to death by a fellow student; and the brutal murder of Japanese national Yukiho Yamada.

We can only hope that this is all coincidental and not the start of a crime trend that will run until March or April.

One cause for optimism was the recent capture of two murder suspects from Ratchaburi who were on the run in Phuket for almost a year.

Indeed, Phuket’s huge migrant population, warm weather, great food and cheap prices make the island an ideal winter escape for people of every stripe, both Thai and foreign –  including some who should be wearing stripes of the type issued in Thai prisons.

It’s a shame that the automated CCTV security system planned for the Tah Chat Chai road checkpoint is not in place, because police are going to need as many tools as possible to combat crime this high season.

— Stephen Michael Fein


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Pollution21 mins ago

Over 100 tonnes garbage estimated near Phuket Fishing Port

Thailand35 mins ago

Stop giving monkeys cigarettes, beg locals in Lop Buri, Thailand

Thailand37 mins ago

World Cup broadcasting soap opera drama rumbles on

Sponsored7 hours ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Transport52 mins ago

Thai Vietjet plans new routes to China, India, Japan, Vietnam

Crime2 hours ago

Police arrest weight loss pill executive for causing 4 deaths in Thailand

Phang Nga2 hours ago

Phang Nga officials find more leatherback turtle eggs

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism2 hours ago

Thai AirAsia Melbourne and Sydney connections take to the air

Bangkok2 hours ago

Fireworks to dazzle Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River area on New Year’s Eve

Medical2 hours ago

Resurgence of AIDS in Thailand overshadows UNAIDS summit

Phuket3 hours ago

Thai VietJet cancels Phuket – Bangkok flight last minute over 1 extra passenger

Food3 hours ago

Thailand’s top cheesemaker toasts his own success

Crime3 hours ago

New details unfolding over alleged assault by Pattaya loan sharks

Hot News4 hours ago

Family of man who died after a hair transplant warns others to avoid cowboy clinics

Pattaya5 hours ago

Ladyboys steal Russian tourist’s gold necklace in Pattaya, Thailand

Hot News5 hours ago

7-Eleven stores introduce digital govt service channel for Thais

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11