Connect with us


Combating rising crime in Rawai



PHUKET: CHALONG Police are boosting public safety on the southern streets of Phuket by enlisting the help of local government officers, volunteers, and other island residents, business people.

Chalong Police Deputy Superintendent Narong Laksanawimon told the Gazette that more than 20 officers from Rawai Municipality and local residents are joining police efforts in patrolling the streets, reporting any suspicious activities they see directly to officers on patrol at the time.

A “neighborhood watch center” has also been set up in the Khok Tanode community in Chalong. The center, located near Ladthiwanaram Temple (Wat Tai), has 10 volunteers, supervised by police.

“We will ask for more officers from Chalong Municipality to join the campaign,” Lt Col Narong said.

“After just two weeks, it already seems as if the number of robberies in the area is decreasing. So far, the center’s efforts have led to arrests in five cases,” he added.

The move to enlist civilian help aims to curb rising crime in the area. One recent incident involved a man being robbed in Soi Sammakee 2, in Rawai, on June 29 by a couple wielding a machete.

“The man was robbed by a guy and a girl who approached him on a motorbike. He thought he might know them,” the Gazette was told by one local resident.

“They then put a machete to his throat, slightly cutting his face, and he just gave them everything. He filed a police report and a policeman told him there’s a gang operating in the area,” said the resident.

“Another friend warned me she was followed from 7-Eleven up past Soi Sammakee earlier this month by some Thai guy trying to get her to stop her bike,” the resident added.

Lt Col Narong told the Gazette that police were aware of that incident.

“We know who the man is. He is known in the area for being involved in drugs. We believe he is no longer in Phuket, but we are working toward his arrest,” he said.

The “machete mugging” follows the fatal stabbing of Australian tourist Michelle Smith on June 20, which gained international media attention and prompted Australian Ambassador James Wise to call for an island-wide weapons ban.

It also prompted Phuket Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul to order all police stations in Phuket to make officers available for night patrols in key tourist areas, namely Kata, Karon and Patong.

Yet the extra number of police to patrol from 9pm to 3am each day offers little respite for the Chalong Police, who have the three subdistricts of Chalong, Rawai and Kata-Karon to protect and serve.

“Before [Maj Gen Chonasit’s order] we had only 12 patrol officers, but since the announcement we have six more… But that means we have only 18 patrol police in total to cover Chalong, Rawai, Nai Harn, Kata and Karon. That means only two officers in each subdistrict per shift,” explained Col Narong.

“Kata and Karon [where Mrs Smith was stabbed] should have more patrol officers,” he added.

Being awarded more patrol officers has been an ongoing battle for the Chalong Police. “Every year we ask for more police, [but] this year we received [only] four more officers,” Col Narong said.

The move to involve “community policing” also has its limits, as the volunteers and local government officers will finish their duties at 1am.

“This leaves us with the same very small number of police officers to maintain their patrols from 1am through to the next day, which is when most of the crimes are committed,” Col Narong pointed out.

According to police statistics, most of the crimes committed in Rawai are break-ins, while bag-snatching remains prevalent in the Kata-Karon tourist areas.

Meanwhile, Gen Chonasit at a press briefing said that most crimes in Phuket were perpetrated within the Chalong Police’s jurisdiction.

Col Narong told the Gazette that he foresaw no change in the trend.

“Phuket attracts many people who come here to make money, either to find work or earn a higher salary, but when they lose their jobs or don’t make enough money, they turn to crime,” he said.

“Phuket attracts more criminals as well, and when these people arrive in Phuket, we cannot tell which ones are good and which ones are bad.

“In my opinion, with the economy going the way it is, Phuket will only attract more criminals,” he concluded.

— Atchaa Khamlo


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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Crime7 mins ago

‘Real owner’ of Mountain B nightclub released on bail for 1 million baht cash

South26 mins ago

UPDATE: 21 year old man found dead after Deep South bombing

Cannabis41 mins ago

Thai govt open to cannabis recreation, not pot-smoking tourists

Sponsored1 day ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Thailand53 mins ago

Tourists travelling for pot-smoking not welcome in Thailand | GMT

Press Room1 hour ago

School’s In, Face-To-Face Learning Shifts to the Home

Destination Guide16 hours ago

Best areas to live in Phuket (2022)

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Video17 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Fears of shenanigans in Mountain B Pub fire investigation

Travel17 hours ago

5 vineyards and wineries in Thailand all wine lovers should know

Thailand17 hours ago

Thai neitzens angry at SUV driver using a siren just to use toilet

Thailand18 hours ago

New poll says people from Thailand more relaxed about Covid-19

Thailand18 hours ago

Rama 2 Road guilty of being a repeat accident offender

Thailand19 hours ago

Body of one teacher found in double suicide pact in SE Thailand

Thailand20 hours ago

Son who tried to starve mother to death dies of TB in NE Thailand

Crime21 hours ago

Mystery 911 emergency service call turns out to be a monkey

Thailand22 hours ago

Hot gran bowled over by Shane Warne before he died in Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Phuket1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year 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