Governor calls for parental punishments

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit has called for stricter punishments to be enforced on the parents of unruly teenagers who consistently break the law, after a spate of robberies by a gang of youths.

At a Security Committee Meeting at Katina Hotel on Thursday, Phuket Provincial Police Superintendent of General Staff Pol Col Peerayut Karajedee reported to Governor Niran on the robberies of three 7-Eleven stores and one local gas station by a gang in the Cherng Talay and Kamala areas.

“They live in Village 3 Cherng Talay and Village 3 Kamala. On September 12, three of them robbed two 7-Elevens in Cherng Talay and one in Kamala, as well as a local gas station in Bang Tao,” said Cherng Talay Police Station Superintendent Lt Col Veerawat Chantaravijit.

The three teenagers, part of a gang of five all aged between 14 and 17 years old, were arrested by police the next day.

The gang used a replica handgun and a one-meter long knife to steal cash, cigarettes and phone cards, added Lt Col Veerawat.

“The robberies occurred after midnight, and we had already warned shop owners in the area to install CCTV cameras. Most shop owners lock their stores after midnight, but the gang sent in someone well-dressed to pose as a customer, then the other gang members would enter and rob the store,” said Col Veerawat.

Governor Niran said, “I think these teenagers are behaving like bandits, not youths any more. Even though they are still young, they have broken the law many times, which makes them outlaws.

“After the police arrest them and they go to juvenile court, they always get out after minimal punishment or on bail when its requested by their parents.

“We need to look at imposing a law that punishes parents who continually refuse to take good care of their children,” he added.

Pol Col Chalit Tintanee, deputy commander of Phuket Provincial Police, said that the teenagers are not bad people, just immature. “Everyone has to work together now to stop this, starting with the schools and the families of the youths,” he said.

Members of the teenage gang are currently out on bail.

Phuket News
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