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Phuket police facing manpower crisis

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket police facing manpower crisis | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Some 10% of all police officers in Phuket have applied for transfers out of the province, with many citing overwork as their reason, adding to the problem of Phuket’s already understaffed police force.

Word of the widespread dissatisfaction in the ranks came from Lt Gen Thanee Tavitcha, Commander of Royal Thai Police Region 8.

Some 10% of Phuket’s current police force have requested transfers out of the province for easier postings elsewhere, Gen Thanee said.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Decha Budnampeth confirmed that some 100 officers had requested transfers.

Many officers wanted easier assignments elsewhere, while others wanted to return to work in their home provinces, Gen Decha said.

“There is so much going on all the time because Phuket is so popular with tourists. This makes it very hard to work here, so I understand their reasons for wanting to leave,” he said.

However, he added that the Royal Thai Police is unable to grant all the transfers at the same time because Phuket is already suffering a police manpower shortage.

Although the province needs about 500 more police staff to deal with the anticipated influx of tourists during the upcoming high season, several requests to Royal Thai Police headquarters to fill these positions have been denied, Gen Decha said.

Part of the reason that his requests for an additional 500 staff has been continually refused by police headquarters in Bangkok stems from dwindling numbers of new recruits nationwide. An insufficient number of new recruits pass the police civil service exam each year end and enter the force, Gen Decha explained.

Currently there are about 1,050 police in Phuket, far fewer than the 1,600 officers needed, he said.

Gen Decha has applied to establish a new police station in Karon, which is geographically far from Chalong Police Station, which is currently responsible for the Kata-Karon area. This request, along with an application to make Tah Chat Chai Station independent of the Thalang Police, also has yet to be granted.

“The Royal Thai Police has yet to approve the transfer requests for the 100 who have applied, but I think they may begin to do so gradually, on a case-by-case basis. This will affect our operational capacity in the upcoming high season because we certainly won’t have enough officers,” he said.

The shortage of law enforcement officers is thought to be due in part to Phuket’s registered population, just over 300,000, being roughly only half the number of Thais actually living in the province, according to figures provided by Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit.

The island’s high-season population likely exceeds 1 million, when occupancy at the island’s 580 registered accommodation establishments is high. Scores of expatriate residents and foreign laborers – legally registered and otherwise – also call Phuket home.

Although Phuket does have special tourist and immigration police units, the number of regular police officers stationed largely reflects the registered population – not the reported one.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

A Thai man has been shot dead near Saphan Hin in eastern Phuket earlier today. The arrest warrant has already been issued for the suspect.

The Wichit Police were notified of the incident on Rattanakosin 200 pi Road near Saphan Hin at 3.40am this morning.

Police and rescue workers arrived to find the body of 30 year old Teerasak Saeong from Phuket covered with blood and laying on the road. Two bullet wounds were found on his right and left temple.

Seven bullets were also found around Mr Teerasak’s body. Nearby they found a motorbike. His body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for full autopsy and identification.

Witnesses told police that Mr Teerasak was stopped on his motorbike and was talking with the suspect who was in a black car. The suspect shot at Mr Teerasak and sped away.

Mr Teerasak was the son of a member of Rassada’s Municipal Council. At this stage police believe that the two had personal conflicts. Police are now searching for the driver of the vehicle who shot Mr Teerasak.

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger


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Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | The Thaiger

A male Danish tourist, driving a motorbike, has died after colliding with a truck in front of a market in Kathu.

The Kathu Police were notified of the incident on Phra Phuket Keaw Road in front of the new outdoor Vintage Market in Kathu at 3am yesterday morning.

Police and Kusoldharm rescue workers arrived at the U-turn to find the truck and driver waiting. The driver of the truck was 36 year old Sontaya Suchata waiting in the middle of the U-turn area.

Nearby they found a damaged Honda PCX and 51 year old Claus Pathuel Jensen, a Danish national from Glostrup. He was found unconscious under the truck. He was rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Police report that the truck was going to take a U-turn outside the market area. The truck driver says he was unaware that Mr Jensen was coming from behind in the right lane. The motorbike was unable to avoid the collision with the truck and Mr Jensen PCX ploughed into the rear of the vehicle.

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger


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Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook/Claire Johnson

An Australian woman, who was caught overstaying her visa by 111 days, will be released from detention and deported by Thai authorities tonight.

She came to the media’s attention on Monday after sending urgent messages to a friend saying that she was being taken to a detention centre and that “they are taking my phone”.

46 year old Claire Amelia Johnson is an Australian Gold Coast resident. She will depart Bangkok on a QANTAS flight scheduled to arrive in Sydney tomorrow (Friday) morning.

She was due to return to Australia more than a week ago but on Monday evening sent messages to her friend Juliet Potter and told her that she was in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok and begged her to please “help me”.

Read The Thaiger story about her desperate pleas HERE.

Ms Johnson had been running a medical tourism business called Cosmetic Holidays International that offered cosmetic packages in Phuket”.

The business was voluntarily deregistered with the Australian Securities Commission in May 2017, after five years of operation, but her social media accounts continued to promote her cosmetic-surgery tourism business.

Thailand’s immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, told Australia’s Fairfax media that Ms Johnson had been arrested, as well as fined, and would be deported after overstaying her tourist visa by more than 100 days.

“My Immigration Department will send her to Australia. She leaves tonight.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would say only that it was “providing consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Thailand”, without naming Claire.

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | News by The Thaiger

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