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Gov gets tough on bars, violence and encroachment

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET CITY: Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit has ordered police to continue their crackdown on bars in Patong opening after hours, saying that there were no exceptions in the law for “tourist provinces”.

At the Phuket Provincial Security Committee’s monthly meeting at the Thavorn Grand Plaza Hotel on Tuesday, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Decha Budnampeth asked the Governor to clarify the province’s stance on the crackdown.

“I would like to know what provincial policy on the issue is because I’m sure that if we wanted to we could put a stop to all the entertainment venues that are breaking the law, but I’m worried that it could destroy the atmosphere in Patong.

“If I don’t take action, then police from Bangkok will come here and make arrests, and I will be the first one to be blamed,” Gen Decha said.

“Some entertainment venues don’t even have entertainment licenses, they have only licenses to sell alcohol off site. There are also venues that close at 1 am when the police are around then open again at 4 am or 5 am when police aren’t around. In fact we know who the owners of most of the places are but they continue to open illegally,” he added.

Gov Niran replied, “We have to enforce the law. If we do not we ourselves may get in trouble. There is no clause in the law saying that entertainment venues can open longer because we are a tourism province, so we have to follow the law as it is.

“If we have to arrest people, then we must arrest them. We should also introduce new measures to deal with repeat offenders such as permanently shutting bars that break the rules a certain number of times.”

The Governor also raised concern at the high level of violent crime on the island and urged police to bring perpetrators to justice.

Gen Decha told the Governor that he had recently gone to inspect developments by helicopter and had found many luxury properties, especially around Laem Son and Leam Sing, that have built steps down to the sea that are possibly illegal.

Gov Niran said that next time he would go up in the helicopter with him and if he found that any department or organization was not doing its job then action would be taken.

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