Bangkok bombs spark security boost

PHUKET: Police Region 8 put 50 extra officers on standby in Phuket over the holiday period, to be bolstered by about 100 more officers on standby from Friday, following the bomb blasts in Bangkok on New Year’s Eve.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pol Maj Gen Decha Budnampeth today told the Gazette that the extra officers, to remain in Phuket until the end of the high season, will be divided among the island’s eight police stations.

“We are focusing the extra security mostly at popular tourism areas, such as Patong and at other beaches. We were lucky that this year nothing bad happened and there were lots of tourists,” he said.

Gen Decha said that the Bangkok bombings were unrelated to the ongoing violence in the Deep South.

The bombs were meant to cause a disturbance rather than maximize carnage, he said.

He called on the public to help with the security effort. “If anyone sees anything suspicious they should report it as soon as possible by calling 191,” he added.

To minimize the chance of a bombing in Phuket, Deputy Patong Mayor called on homeowners and business operators to cooperate by waiting until just before scheduled garbage collection times to put out their trash, especially in tourist areas.

“If everyone cooperates, tourist areas can be more secure and more attractive,” he said.

Along Soi Bangla in Patong, for example, garbage is now collected every two hours due to security concerns and large garbage bins have been replaced by smaller ones.

Security concerns about the heart of Patong have been high ever since the October 2002 bombing in Bali.

Phuket News
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