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Aussie murder fallout: CCTV saturation sought for Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: A top-level meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday heard that the island needs 10,000 CCTV cameras and more police officers to keep tourists and locals safe from criminals.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (OrBorJor) President Paiboon Upatising said, “We want the government to provide a budget of about 2 billion baht to install CCTV throughout Phuket.”

Once installed, the units would also require a maintenance budget, he pointed out.

“Currently the OrBorJor has about 250 CCTV cameras, whereas local government departments have more than 1,000 CCTV cameras in Phuket. However, Phuket needs about 10,000 CCTV cameras to cover the entire province,” Mr Paiboon said.

Phuket Tourist Association President Somboon Jirayus pointed out that the death of Australian tourist Michelle Smith, after she was stabbed during a failed bag-snatch attempt, has had “a very detrimental effect” on Phuket’s tourism industry.

“Association hotel members always warn tourists about the problems that can occur and always cooperate with projects to solve these issues or improve Phuket. Many hotels have cameras, both inside their buildings and facing the road, to detect and identify suspicious characters and record incidents,” he said.

“Phuket has about five to six million visitors a year. All those people are protected by a police force of about 1,200 officers. That’s hard work,” Mr Somboon continued.

“We would like the authorities to consider an increase in police manpower to better reflect to the number of people in Phuket who need protection.

“In addition, we would like a plan to build a new police station in Karon to proceed as quickly as possible due to the urgency of the situation,” he said.

Bhuritt Maswongsa, a vice president of the Phuket Tourism Association, added, “A recent report by Singapore’s Asia News Network listed Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand as the least safe countries in Asia. That image ruins tourism enormously.

“The country [Thailand] has the laws already, but they need to be enforced more rigorously,” he said.

The Phuket Gazette is currently conducting an online poll asking how best to improve public safety in Phuket. To vote in the poll, click here.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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

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