Police Chief warns of increasing petty crime

PHUKET CITY: Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pol Maj Gen Decha Budnampeth has ordered police in the province to step up their vigilance against petty crimes.

He has also urged the public to help officers by informing them of any crimes they witness, especially in the run-up to the month-long soccer World Cup.

Gen Decha said, “All police officers should be more attentive while on patrol in all areas of the island, especially in local neighborhoods.

“But we do not have enough officers to protect everyone effectively from crime [so] we need everyone to help by being the eyes of the police.

“The police are working hard to prevent snatch-and-run crimes because we know that the economy is not good right now. Phuket is a ‘tourism city’, so there is a lot of traffic all day and all night.

“Most victims have been women because they like to put their handbags in the motorbike basket, making it easy for robbers to grab the bags,” he added.

Gen Decha explained that Phuket City Police arrested a gang of four petty criminals on May 29. Three were teenagers, aged 17, 18 and 19, while the fourth was a 41-year-old.

He said that the gang members admitted to 10 snatch-and-run crimes in Phuket City, and to others outside the city limits.

“When police arrested the gang, they were found in possession of two Suzuki motorbikes that had been reported stolen. Neither bike had a license plate fitted.

“They were also found to be in possession of two stolen handbags and two stolen mobile phones,” Gen Decha said.

The gang started their spree with a snatch-and-run on February 22. Officers learned of their activities in April, and their investigation started making progress in May, he said.

Gen Decha called for parents to be more responsible in educating their children not to commit crimes, as it is the police who end up with the problem of catching them later.

He also called for people to inform police of venues that stay open illegally after closing time to allow soccer fans to watch live broadcasts of World Cup matches.

“There are 500 to 600 places where people can legally watch live broadcasts of the matches after the usual closing time, but there are other venues that will stay open [without the proper permit] just so they can make more money,” he said.

To report a crime, he said, people should call Tel: 191, which is manned round the clock.

Phuket News

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