Police welcome B34m for guns and training

PHUKET CITY: The Superintendent of Phuket City Police Station, Pol Col Paween Pongsirin, has welcomed the allocation of 34 million baht from the central government for weapons and training for police from Phuket and surrounding areas.

The money was promised by Prime Minister Thaksin on his recent whistle-stop tour of the South.

Col Paween said, “PM Thaksin has granted the budget though we haven’t received the funds yet. This money is for security measures and will be spent on special weapons, including handguns, and also on training.”

He declined to disclose the types of weapons to be bought, explaining, “We want to ensure that people intent on committing crime do not know our capabilities.”

Also behind the decision to buy the weapons and boost police abilities was concern about the possibility of a Bali-type bombing, Col Paween said. “The bombing in Bali was unexpected and had a devastating effect in human and economic terms.

“If something like this were to occur in Phuket, all the prosperity we have built up over a long period would be lost in a minute.

“If we have a bomb threat, we must have the equipment and people to deal with it. At present we don’t have them and must rely on the central government to supply them.”

He added, “Phuket [also] has many problems such as unruly teenagers, trouble with gangs, drugs, traffic congestion and land disputes.

“The benefits of the increased funding may not be immediately apparent, but we need to plan for the long-term. Our officers need to be trained to deal with any situation

“We are holding a security protection and improvement course in Patong for 55 police officers from Phuket and surrounding areas from September 13 to 17. It will be run by a security specialist from the US government.”

Col Paween said he was convinced the 34 million baht would significantly improve Phuket’s policing capabilities. “You can compare it with how a boxer fights,” he said. “Having good gloves is not enough; you need good tactics and technique.”

Phuket News
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