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Opinion

Phuket Opinion: Proactive CCTV use necessary to protect resorts

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Opinion: Proactive CCTV use necessary to protect resorts | The Thaiger

Phuket Tourism Association (PTA) Vice President Bhuritt Maswongssa, 51, is also the Vice Chairman of the Patong Resort hotel. He received law degrees from both Ngee Ann College in Singapore and Ramkhamhaeng University in Thailand. In the wake of a recent spate of hotel robberies across the island, he discusses how to boost hotel and resort security.

PHUKET: More than ten hotel and resort robberies were carried out in the last three months (story here, and here); this is a serious problem that needs solutions. Owners of resorts and hotels can’t just sit back and expect the police to take care of the issue.

The number of tourists visiting Phuket is growing every year, but the number of police officers is not changing, which makes it more difficult for them to guarantee the safety of all of our guests and their belongings.

Officers are doing their best, but people in the hospitality industry need to make efforts to boost their security as well.

For example, when they experience recurring crimes, they need to figure out how to close the loopholes in their security systems.

The best way for hotels to close these loopholes and protect their guests is to proactively and effectively use CCTV. Usually CCTV cameras are checked after a robbery takes place, when really the focus should be on crime prevention. Using CCTV footage to track down a thief is hard work, especially because the thieves know they need to obscure their faces by wearing masks, glasses or helmets. I have actually seen CCTV footage where a brazen thief waved to the camera.

Instead of checking the CCTV footage after a robbery, hotels should have security guards constantly monitoring the cameras. This way, they would be able to spot suspicious people who have gotten into a hotel and could notify other guards to keep an eye on the person, possibly stopping a crime before it happens.

You can never be sure when a crime will happen, so even when everything seems normal, constant and diligent monitoring of the CCTV is essential.

After a successful robbery, thieves know more about a hotel’s security system. They know the weak points in the system, and they know that the CCTV cameras aren’t being monitored.

We need to be smart and careful when designing hotel and resort security systems. We need to think of the situation from a thief’s perspective. It’s important for us to try to imagine how he will conduct a robbery so we can take steps ahead of time to prevent his intended crime.

In addition to using technology like CCTV, hotel staff should keep an eye on suspicious guests or situations.

Guards especially should be careful and observant. But really, all hotel staff should take note of all guests who act strangely, even those who visit the hotel often or seem wealthy – a person that does not look like a thief might be the most dangerous person in the lobby.

Sometimes criminals will pretend to be tourists or officers, so hotel staff must be alert at all times.

Staff should not just keep an eye on guests; they should also keep watch over their colleagues.

If they know other staff members well, they will be able to spot a co-worker acting suspiciously.

By simply keeping an eye on each other they can help prevent inside jobs.

The last security concern that hotels should look at is infrastructure.

Hotels should not have any dark areas or CCTV blind spots that would allow thieves to easily commit crimes. By having the proper infrastructure, CCTV coverage and diligent staff, hotels can boost the level of safety they provide to guests. The key is to be proactive in crime prevention.

— Orawin Narabal

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Opinion

“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing

The Thaiger

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“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing | The Thaiger

The rules are applied in a lumpy fashion at various tourist hot spots around the country as well as some national parks. Sometimes it’s applied, sometimes, not, sometimes there are signs, sometime they make it up as they go, sometimes they will allow local expats in for the Thai price.

There are dual-pricing apologists who say ‘Hey, it’s cheap anyway, so pay up and shut up’. Whilst dual-pricing whiners say it’s unfair, racist and shows a lack of grace towards tourists and foreigners.

Here’s the story from ‘Despondant Foreigner’. You can have your say on the post at our Facebook page

“I would like to share my story with you that happened to me this morning. I visited Promlok waterfall in Nakhon Si Thammaratt with my Thai wife, child and wife’s family. Upon arrival two soldiers approached our car and my wife began talking to them. They explained to her that as today is Songkran all Thai’s get to go to the waterfalls free of charge but I had to pay. Then a woman dressed in yellow approached the car who confirmed what the soldiers said and told my wife that this is a new law. Well we were all disgusted and proceeded to drive back down to the bottom of the waterfall where we could all swim for free.

I am absolutely disgusted by this. Yet another example of Thailand’s racial profiling and xenophobia towards foreigners. The fact that I am married and have children here doesn’t make a difference. Because I have white skin I must pay the fee whilst all Thais go in free.”

SOURCE: ThaiVisa

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Opinion

Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet

Bill Barnett

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Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett, C9Hotelworks.com

As Phuket moves slowly into low season, a story published in the international media by the US-based Fox News about how tourists could face the death penalty over taking photos at the island’s airport is a highly flaw piece of sensationalist fake news.

Clearly there is no likelihood that the Thai authorities will apply a legal maximum penalty under the Air Navigation Act for tourists posing for selfies as airplanes land. More likely would be a  charge of trespassing and a fine.

Clicking into Google this morning the story is now running with the New York Post, MSN and other news outlets abroad.

What is distressing is to see how news providers sensationalize Thailand and Phuket with little regard as to the consequences of the economic impact of such a story.

For most readers, what they will remember when reading such a piece is only the headline about Phuket, Mai Khao Beach and the death penalty.

What a sorry state of affairs mainstream news has become.

To read the Fox News article clock HERE.

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Election

Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision?

The Thaiger

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Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision? | The Thaiger

Is Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit a popular fad or does he, and his party, have the staying power to make him a sustainable threat to the entrenched Thai political elite?

Many analysts are comparing Thanathorn to Thaksin in his early days. They say there are clear similarities. First off, Thanathorn is facing the kind of legal trouble that Thaksin faced when Thailand’s political crisis started to brew.

After becoming Thailand’s PM, Thaksin faced a share transfer scandal in which he moved his company shares to poor servants, allegedly to avoid stock market restrictions imposed on people owning big lots of stocks. Now, 40 year old Thanathorn is facing a legal controversy over his previous ownership of media shares, which could still doom his election candidacy.

The allegations are yet to be considered by the Election Commission.

Thaksin, in spite of repeated denials, was always alleged to have controversial political ambitions. Thanathorn, meanwhile, is seen in an increasingly similar situation. The list of complaints is growing, many to do with his perceived unorthodox ideology that contrasts with the conservative political ‘Thainess’ that includes non-negotiable support for the Army and Monarchy.

Thanathorn has been criticised for something he said about the Khana Ratsadon Party, which played an instrumental role in changing Thailand’s system from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in 1932. The secretary-general of Thanathorn’s party has also been forced to deny making highly-controversial comments about Thailand’s political culture.

Future Forward did very well on March 24, surpassing pundits’ predictions for the new party. Analysts say the success is due to three main factors — Thanathorn’s youthful image that attracted the majority of first-time voters, the dissolution of the Thai Raksa Chart Party that shifted a lot of votes to Future Forward, and the new party’s fresh ideology and perspectives.

He, and the party, attracted a lot of newer voters along with a core of disaffected voters who are looking for change.

But Thanathorn’s looming legal trouble is described as a potential banana skin. It concerns a large number of shares he had in a media company, which were transferred to his mother so that he could qualify as an election candidate.

One apparently-private document, which he is relying on, showed he transferred the V-Luck Media Company shares on January 8, before he applied for election candidacy. Another document, which his accusers are relying on, apparently showed the transfer was brought to the authorities’ attention after he became an election candidate.

Controversy continues to build around the young billionaire and chances are it will grow.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger

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