Top brass tackle crimes against tourists

PHUKET TOWN: Top police commanders met today to discuss how to tackle problems affecting tourism in Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi. Speaking after the meeting, Pol Gen Kovit Wattana, Deputy Commissioner-General (Crime Suppression 1), said that the meeting was held to find ways of ensuring tourists’ safety, including ways to stop people cheating tourists, and ways to protect the environment. Gen Kovit chaired the meeting at the Phuket Town Police Station, which was also attended by Pol Maj Gen Sanit Miphan, Commander of Thailand’s Tourist Police, and the Provincial Police Commanders from each of the three provinces. Asked for specifics of what police will be doing to ensure tourists’ safety during the coming high season, Gen Kovit said, “We will increase [the number of] rescue teams, who will be trained by the Marine Police.” Volunteers have already been recruited and trained to help the police spot problems, he said. “The Tourist Police will train 200 more volunteers to help ensure tourists’ safety in all three provinces, though the emphasis will be on Phuket,” he said. Gen Kovit said that solving the problem of vendors bothering tourists will need cooperation from all sides. “We all have to pitch in and help – the police, the local governments, the local people – everybody must help,” he said. “If people keep pestering tourists to buy products or services, it will irritate them. They want to relax but people keep pestering them. The police alone can’t do much; everybody has to help,” he said. Talking about plans to make Phuket a weapons-free zone, Gen Kovit said that Pol Maj Gen Kongpol Suwannaraks, Commander of the Phuket Provincial Police, already has the project well in hand. “Just take a look,” he said. “There have been hardly any cases involving weapons during the past two or three months.” He also urged the public to give police any information they may have that could help the crackdown on drugs. “The Police Commissioner for Region 8, Lt Gen Paisarn Tangjaitrong, takes this very seriously. If any drugs manage to slip in, don’t worry, he’ll be able to fix it,” he said. “Any person who knows of drugs that have managed to slip past the watchful eye of the police, please tell any of the local commissioners, provincial commanders or superintendents. We want to make the whole area drug-free,” he added.

Phuket News
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