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Combating rising crime in Rawai

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Combating rising crime in Rawai | The Thaiger

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

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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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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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