Phuket Governor: ‘No bail for drug crimes’

PHUKET CITY: Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop has issued written orders to all police districts on the island instructing them not to allow people arrested on drug charges to be granted bail.

The issue was a major topic of discussion during the monthly meeting of the Phuket Provincial Security Council, held at Phuket Provincial Hall on April 29.

The governor, who chairs the security council, was informed of a drug case in which a suspect was released on police bail with the help of a local official.

In response to what he heard, he sent out an official document to all police stations and other relevant agencies warning that any official caught using his position to help drug suspects gain bail release, either directly or indirectly, would be investigated.

However, Phuket City Police Superintendent Wanchai Ekpornpit told the committee that denying bail to all drug suspects would be impractical, given that a large percentage of arrests on the island – including many theft and robbery cases – also involve drug use.

“The drug problem is not just going to go away, and it is hurting our children,” he said.

Instead, he asked the governor to strengthen existing law enforcement capabilities, such as by implementing stricter control at the Tah Chat Chai road checkpoint and buying better quality detection equipment, such as Alpha 6 drug scanners.

He also suggested that a “Pineapple Eye” neighborhood watch project be established to encourage Phuket residents to assist the police in law enforcement in their communities.

Governor Wichai told the committee he had already assigned the deputy director of the Provincial Internal Security Committee to implement a number of projects designed at crime reduction, including illegal drug use.

These also included many of the recommendations suggested by Col Wanchai, as well as increased police staffing, greater use of Civil Defense Volunteers and an expansion of the closed circuit television (CCTV) coverage network in the Phuket City Police District, which covers tambons Rassada, Koh Kaew and Wichit as well as the Phuket City municipality.

— Siangtai Daily

Phuket News
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