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Patong to expand CCTV surveillance



Patong to expand CCTV surveillance | Thaiger

PATONG: Kathu Police plan to install about 10 more closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in Patong to increase security and fight crime there, the police chief has announced.

Kathu Police Superintendent Col Grissak Songmoonnak told the Gazette that more CCTV cameras are needed in Patong, as the 16 cameras that went into operation there in early 2007 are effective for traffic control, but have done little to aid in criminal investigations.

“The image quality from those cameras still can’t help us in crime suppression because they were installed in fixed positions to monitor traffic flow. Only a few of them can zoom in or capture images well enough to help fight crime,” said Col Grissak.

The 16 CCTV cameras in Patong were installed by CAT Telecom in early 2007 under a 16-million-baht contract funded by the CEO Governor’s budget.

Phuket City and Kata-Karon also got 16 CCTV cameras each under the project.

To improve coverage, Patong Municipality has already approved 4 million baht in funding for about 10 more cameras, but the money is not yet available, Col Grissak said.

A number of businesses are also expected to donate money, though Col Grissak declined to estimate how much the private-sector would contribute.

“We would like to have more cameras on line as soon as possible, preferably before the Songkran Festival for those with private-sector funding, which should come through more quickly. Patong needs a lot of camera coverage because of the crowded conditions and pace of development,” he said.

For the second-phase, Kathu Police will seek out improved CCTV technology that integrates well with the existing system, he said.

Kathu Police will also take more measures to improve traffic in Patong and make it safer for pedestrians to cross the roads, he said.

The one-way traffic system put in place in mid-January, 2007 – at about the same time the CCTV network was introduced – has improved traffic flow in Patong considerably.

However, crossing the streets on foot has become more dangerous. The lack of speed bumps, traffic lights or pedestrian overpasses to improve safety for pedestrians has become a major cause for complaint among visiting tourists.


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