Police crackdown angers bar owners

PHUKET: Angry bar owners have threatened to stage a “mob” if police do not ease the enforcement of the 2 am legal closing time for entertainment establishments. One bar owner told the Gazette, “Take a look around Patong at 3 or 4 am. People are out in the streets drinking beer and whisky they buy at 7-11, fighting, or looking for somewhere to sit, relax, and socialize. “If the powers that be are interested in killing off the tourism business in Phuket, they are doing a great job.” The crackdown across Phuket, which started on April 10, is part of a nationwide campaign to ensure entertainment venues do not stay open after 2 am, that they do not employ people under 18 years old, and that customers are at least 20 years old. Pol Col Paween Pongsirin, superintendent of Kathu Police Station, told the Gazette that he had received many complaints, along with threats that bar owners would stage a “mob” against the crackdown. “The [bar] owners have pointed out that they have to pay high rents and other costs, and that the restriction on opening hours cuts down the number of customers. “But there is nothing I can do about this. It is the law that entertainment places may not stay open later than 2 am. It’s my duty to see that the law is enforced,” he said.

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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