Security boost at Central Festival Phuket shopping mall

PHUKET: Security has been stepped up at Central Festival Phuket following the destruction of Central World Plaza in Bangkok last week.

General manager of Central Festival, Wilaiporn Pitimana-aree, said that although there were no signs of political violence on the island, it was company policy to increase security at all the chain’s branches.

The company had no evidence of a new threat to any of the stores, but wanted to make its customers feel safe and confident, she said.

The new measures, which started on Friday, include bag searches and an increase in the number of security guards.

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Security guards now examine customers’ bags as they walk into the mall and inspect cars entering the car park.

“We can’t say how many security officers we have, but the number is enough given the number of shoppers and size of the mall,” she said.

The mall had asked the police to help, Mrs Wilaiporn said.

“Normally there are plainclothes police in our shopping mall, but we’d like to make security much tighter.”

The mall would remain on alert “until the situation is back to normal,” she said.

Customers understood the need for increased security, she added.

Janine Blases, a 28-year-old Swiss tourist whose bag was searched on her way into the mall, said she was unperturbed by the procedure.

“Phuket is already safe,” she said. “I understand that it’s the officer’s duty to examine our bags for security.”

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News
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