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Prompong in Phuket to launch tourist safety campaign

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Prompong in Phuket to launch tourist safety campaign | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Government spokesman Prompong Nopparit was back in Phuket last night to launch a new tourist safety campaign that will see a rapid expansion in the number of closed-circuit television cameras in Patong and other popular tourist destinations.

Mr Prompong, a party list MP for the ruling Pheu Thai Party, at 7pm held an informal meeting with the press on Bangla Road, where he also met with local business business operators and their staff.

The purpose of the latest visit was to launch a nationwide “500,000 eyeballs for tourist safety and security” tourist safety campaign. Phuket will serve as the pilot province for the campaign, which will subsequently spread to other popular tourist destinations around the country, he said.

Accompanying Mr Prompong on his tour of the walking street were Preechavude “Prab” Keesin, in his capacity as chairman of the Patong Municipality Community Groups Association, and Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) President Weerawit Kurasombat.

Both men presented Mr Nopparit with a document assuring the readiness of their groups to take part in the campaign, a key of which is to have business operators take the lead in installing CCTV cameras in order enhance surveillance in and around their businesses.

Mr Prompong, who oversees the Andaman region for the Pheu Thai Government, said the visit to Phuket follows an order by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in the aftermath of the recent bomb explosions in Bangkok.

His mission is to quell fears about tourist safety in the region and enlist local business operators and residents in ensuring tourist safety and preventing similar incidents from occurring here, he said.

The name of the campaign stems from the fact that Phuket has a population of 250,000 people listed on house registration forms, which calculates to 500,000 eyeballs, Mr Prompong said.

Speaking on the expansion of CCTV coverage in Phuket, Mr Prompong said he had received a good response from local business operators. The goal is to expand surveillance capacity to “full coverage” by installing cameras not only in front of their establishments, but also behind and in nearby areas of high risk.

He estimated that some 10,000 cameras would be needed to reach the goal in Phuket.

Patong currently has “very few” [government-installed] CCTV cameras and some of these do not function properly. Only 18 of these units are confirmed to be operational, he said.

He had already discussed the need for added CCTV coverage with Phuket officials and intends to ask PM Yingluck Shinawatra to fund CCTV expansion in tourist destinations including Chiang Mai and Pattaya as well as Phuket, he said.

However, as it would take too long to wait for central government budget approval and disbursal of funds, the private sector is the key to increasing coverage in the near term, he said.

Mr Weerawit said his PEBA members already encouraged staff to look out for the safety of tourists, but agreed that an expansion of CCTV coverage in known risk areas would further increase safety and security.

The PEBA members fully understand the importance of safety and security in a town that hosts so many tourists annually, he said.

The need for CCTV expansion was already a topic of discussion among PEBA members before the “500,000 eyeballs” campaign began, he said.

Preechavude “Prab” Keesin, also the son of Patong Mayor Pian Keesin, said an increase in the number of CCTV cameras installed by the private sector was already evident.

“Almost 100%” of business operators on the western end of Phang Muang Sai Kor Road had installed CCTV cameras, Mr Preechavude said.

Although still known locally as Soi Tan (‘dead end soi’), the road is now open to through traffic and has developed into a center of Thai-oriented nightlife in Patong in recent years.

Similar developments in other parts of Patong were sure to improve the security situation overall. Business operators understand the many security benefits CCTV surveillance brings to their own establishments, protecting their own interests as well as those of their guests, he said.

— Warisa Temram



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Phuket

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Department of National Parks

Officers from of the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area have helped in the release of a slow loris back into the wild yesterday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reports that the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom, yesterday released the slow loris to the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Are in Thalang.

The slow loris was found near a furniture factory in Thalang last week. It was being treated at a pet hospital before being handed over to Khun Pongchart when it was ready to be set free.

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy | The Thaiger

A floating seastead has today been towed by a naval vessel back to the Port of Phuket in Cape Panwa. Meanwhile the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is challenging the owners and builders of the structure to take the Thai Government and Navy to the International Court of Justice.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet ventured out with a group of reporters on Saturday to inspect the floating seastead, the first of about 20 planned Ocean Builders for the open waters about 22km from Phuket’s Koh Racha Yai.

Nothing valuable was found on board the octagon-shaped steel and aluminium structure which was attached to a floating platform.

Two vessels were used in today’s operation. The living quarters were detached and placed on the first vessel and the second towed the floating platform to the shore for safe keeping pending legal action against its owner as well as the builder, Ocean Builders Company.

Dr. Wissanu said yesterday that Thai authorities were authorised to remove or dismantle the floating housing unit with or without the consent of its owner after finding the structure could pose a threat to Thai national security and sovereignty in accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Code.

He said that the structure also posed an obstacle to vessels and was located not far from an oil rig.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Seasteader Chad Andrew Edwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl, are wanted by the Thai police for questioning after Thai immigration revoked the American’s non-immigrant visa and blacklisted him.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phattalung Rescue

Two people have sustained serious injuries after a Phuket taxi slammed into a tree in Phattalung last night.

Phattalung rescue workers were notified of the accident in Mueang Pattalung District at 7.57pm last night (Sunday).

They arrived at the scene to find the Phuket registered taxi resting in front of the big tree on the side of the road near a temple. The front of the vehicle had extensive damage following the collision.

The two people who sustained serious injuries were 58 year old Wanchai Srithong and 64 year old Jamras Srithong. They were both taken to the Phattalung Hospital.

Pattalung City Police are continuing their investigation. There has been no explanation given at this stage as to why a Phuket taxi was in Phattalung.

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger

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