Connect with us


UK Ambassador puts Phuket safety on common agenda

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: UK Ambassador to Thailand Asif Ahmad met Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha this afternoon to discuss a slew of issues affecting British residents and tourists, with the aim of working together with local authorities to boost safety on the island.

“We have 850,000 British tourists who visit Thailand every year. I’ll say up to half come to Phuket… The majority of British residents and tourists here have nothing other than a good time – only a few have problems,” said the ambassador.

“The biggest challenge for us is to educate and advise our own citizens: Do not do in Thailand what you would not do at home. Nobody in the UK would go on a motorcycle without a helmet. It’s impossible. They’d be arrested in five minutes.

“It’s a serious issue – we lose many people here from motorcycle injuries – and there are an alarming number of injuries. That’s something we want to work on,” he added.

“We want to come back to Phuket before June to run a campaign to explain to tourists about basic safety, including to not go swimming in the monsoon season,” Amb Ahmad said.

The ambassador also raised the issue of how reports of sex attacks, regardless of victims’ gender or nationality, were handled by police.

“I have been discussing this today, especially crimes and sex offenses against women. If they are attacked, no matter whether they are Thai, Russian or British – the issue is the same.

“Police should be trained to deal with the situation sympathetically – and women officers, not male officers, should be handling the investigation,” he said.

“I want to bring some British expertise in these area, and counseling on prosecution. That’s one good example of something we can cooperate with Thailand on,” he added.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pekad Tantipong, who met Amb Ahmad earlier in the day, told the Phuket Gazette, “Ambassador Asif said he will help by talking to the Commissioner-General in Bangkok about the need for female police officers in Phuket.

“Right now there are no female investigation officers in Phuket,” he said. “All of them work at [Royal Thai Police] headquarters in Bangkok. If they transfer a few female officers to us, that would be great.”

Cdr Pekad said his office had formally requested female officers to be posted to Phuket, but had yet to receive a reply.

“Phuket police are still using male officers to investigate these cases, and female foreign victims do not feel comfortable talking about this in front of male officers,” he said.

“We need cooperation from the victims, otherwise we cannot do anything about the attack,” he added.

Amb Ahmad also raised two critical topics: tuk-tuks and jet-skis.

Regarding threatening jet-ski operators and bogus insurance claims, Amb Ahmad said that he believed the issue was mixed.

“There are appropriate places for jet-skis. I am not sure a crowded beach is one of them. I believe some claims of damage being done to jet-skis are genuine, and that not all jet-ski operators are ‘bad’, but the bad ones do need to be dealt with,” he said.

Gov Tri said, “We admit that problems exist and we are trying hard to solve them.”

He pointed out the recent breakthrough in having most tuk-tuks in Patong agreeing to set maximum fares, with public feedback to be collected after three months.

However, Amb Ahmad suggested that all tuk-tuks in Phuket be fitted with meters, like taxis in Bangkok.

“I think [the tuk-tuk situation] is not perfect, but it’s getting better… [If meters were installed]. What the meter tells you is what you pay. That’s the best way to deal with this situation,” he said.

Last night in speaking with the press, Amb Ahmad announced some good news for residents on the island.

He confirmed the British embassy in Bangkok was looking to return to Phuket in June or July with “surgeries” offering consular services similar to those conducted by the US embassy.

He also praised the efforts of British Honorary Consul to Phuket Martin Carpenter, who “does a lot of invaluable ‘front line’ work for us very well,” he said.

Mr Carpenter confirmed there were “between 5,000 and 6,000” British nationals living on Phuket.

— Janpen Upatising


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Chon Buri9 mins ago

Chon Buri sets local order, restaurants in malls to only offer food for delivery

Thailand10 mins ago

Samut Prakan man dies in fire, possibly self-inflicted

Thailand1 hour ago

Royal Thai Police say bitterleaf can’t cure Covid

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 18,901 new cases, provincial totals

Thailand2 hours ago

Air Asia technician arrested for allegedly stealing electronics

Pattaya2 hours ago

“Pattaya Move On” reopening likely to be postponed as Covid cases surge

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand2 hours ago

3 metre long python caught near family’s house in Phuket

Thailand4 hours ago

Government says not to buy Favipiravir/Avigan online, says it might be fake

Phuket4 hours ago

Phuket bans alcohol sales at restaurants, issues order amid rise of Covid cases

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 Mexican restaurants in Pattaya

Thailand5 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | New restrictions, new Red Line train in Bangkok, Covid latest

Thailand5 hours ago

Ministry of Public Health says Pfizer vaccine will be allocated correctly, others disagree

Cambodia5 hours ago

Rollout of Covid-19 vaccination for teenagers gets underway in Cambodia

Phuket5 hours ago

Man goes missing off Freedom Beach, Phuket

Phuket5 hours ago

Phuket tourism sector calls for island to be “green-listed” for foreign tourists – VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8