Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: Patong Police volunteers need careful scrutiny to protect tourists

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The safety of tourists visiting Phuket is always a key concern among local officials, and nowhere on the island is the issue more important than in Patong, which has the island’s highest density of visitors and hotels.

Several agencies play roles in tourist safety there, but none assume greater responsibility than the Patong Police, who currently have 180 officers on ‘active’ duty.

This is hardly enough for the town’s registered population of about 20,000, not to mention untold numbers of migrant workers from other parts of Thailand, Burma, Nepal, Cambodia and who knows where else – as well as a large and robust population of nocturnal expats.

Added to this are the droves of tourists who fill the 14,821 rooms in the 264 registered accommodation establishments in Patong. (The actual number of rooms available there is probably at least twice that figure.)

Even by conservative estimates, the number of people in Patong will likely exceed 100,000 this coming high season. Because the police work regular eight-hour shifts, one must presume that at any given time only one-third are on duty – about 1,666 people per officer.

This is hardly an encouraging ratio given the amount of alcohol and methamphetamine abuse in a town where law has never been of any particular significance.

Factor in the widespread publicity that accompanies the seemingly endless violence reports, particularly those detailing disputes between tourists and private transport operators, and the need for Patong Police to seek assistance becomes obvious – at least in theory.

For background on this story, see our report in the current issue of the Phuket Gazette. (Digital subscribers click here to download the full newspaper.)

Patong Police do enjoy support from 40 “volunteer officers”, half of whom are foreigners, as well as a small contingent of Tourist Police and their Patong-based volunteers.

But all tallied, the current manpower will hardly be enough to ensure adequate security in the coming high season when record-breaking tourist arrivals are expected.

Well aware of this, Patong Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakao recently announced plans to install 100 more closed-circuit television cameras and to recruit about 50 beachfront workers, including motorcycle taxi drivers and jet-ski rental operators, as “civil protection volunteers”.

The Phuket Gazette agrees in principle with making better use of civilian volunteers, especially some of those on the “front lines” who spend a great deal of time interacting with tourists.

However, we would urge the police to conduct, as credibly as possible under the circumstances, background checks to make sure that those who apply for the positions are not themselves criminals or otherwise likely to succumb to corruption, which is systemic.

Patong does not need to add mercenaries to the fight against fair trade.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

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:

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Australian released from death row, Samui restaurant raided | September 20

News13 hours ago

Pathum Thani man allegedly lights building on fire, sticks around to laugh and smile

Thailand13 hours ago

Australian and American on Thai death row released from Thai death row, Supreme Court clears drug trafficking case

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

World14 hours ago

Insect snacks hit Japanese vending machines

Thailand15 hours ago

The Return of ‘THE TIM’ | Thaiger Bites | September 20

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 12,709 new cases; provincial totals

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand15 hours ago

Pattaya laundry shop reports ladies’ underwear thief is on the loose

World16 hours ago

Hanoi to ease Covid restrictions this week

Thailand17 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Thailand17 hours ago

Government believes more suspects involved in theft from budget meant for the disabled

Thailand18 hours ago

Dual Pricing and Reduced tax on Alcohol | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 92

Thailand19 hours ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok19 hours ago

Bangkok residents warned of flooding risk as torrential rain forecast this week

Thailand19 hours ago

Government seeks to regulate infectious waste disposal charges

World20 hours ago

Manny Pacquiao to run for president of the Philippines

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Trending