PHUKET TOWN: Police have announced that special measures will be taken to improve public safety in the Saphan Hin area. The announcement came just two days after a 21-year-old man was shot and seriously wounded in the area, which is a popular hangout for gang members – some as young as 10 years old. Many carry weapons, including knives, brass knuckles and even guns. These are used to harm or intimidate people, especially rival gang members. The most recent death occurred early this month, when a man was shot dead during a wild brawl involving some 30 people. In addition to acts of violence, gang members commonly modify their motorbikes to make them louder, creating a public nuisance. On February 14 the police established a checkpoint and arrested 121 people, most for operating illegally modified motorbikes. Officials are now compiling a list of suspected teenage hoodlums in order to track their movements and reduce their ability to steal cars and motorbikes, the gangs’ main source of income. Pol Maj Jirasak Seamsak of the Phuket Traffic Police said both Provincial and Region 8 police forces will cooperate in the crackdown.
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