PHUKET: Provincial Police Commander Patchara Boonyasit today unveiled the latest in Phuket law enforcement: the Beach Police, resplendent in their polo shirt and shorts uniform, with sidearms, and mounted on their patrol bicycles.
“Phuket is a famous tourist destination that has many beautiful beaches and we want to ensure people’s safety while they are on our beaches,” he said.
“Safety is our top priority, especially when big events such as the Asian Beach Games, are held here in Phuket.”
Beach Police patrols are now in action at Karon and Kamala, which both have four beaches within their precincts, Maj Gen Patchara explained.
“We plan to expand this project to other police stations in Phuket with the goal of each station being responsible for patrolling four beaches,” he said.
“The Beach Police squads are mainly here to serve and protect tourists visiting Phuket. They are armed and have the full power of arrest. I think this will make tourists feel safer and more at ease while at the beach, and allow them to relax and really have fun while they are here.”
Gen Patchara also reminded the public that crimes in Kata-Karon can now be reported to the nearest 7-Eleven convenience store.
The pilot project, being tested in Kata-Karon only, was initially announced last month (story here).
“The main problem for tourists – and even some Thais – is finding a police station to report a crime,” Gen Patchara noted. “This is why we set up this project. People are more familiar with convenience stores, which are easily found.”
If the project proved successful in Kata-Karon, it will be rolled out across the island, he added.
Gen Patchara today also revealed an arsenal of firearms, bladed weapons and other contraband seized during the recent crackdown on crime during the Loy Krathong holiday (story here).
“Our main problems – and related crimes – in Phuket are drugs and illegal firearms. We are taking this very seriously,” he said.
During the one-week crackdown, from November 1-7, police arrested 297 suspects, Gen Patchara noted. Of those, 134 faced drugs charges, 41 faced firearms charges, and 49 faced charges involving knives and other bladed weapons.
“We will continue our crackdown to ensure public safety, especially while the Asian Beach Games are on,” Gen Patchara assured.
The Phuket Gazette is proud to have been selected as the sole English-language media sponsor for the 2014 Asian Beach Games being held in Phuket (story here).
For more information on the 4th Asian Beach Games, visit www.phuketthailand2014.com
— Khumpee Prasertphol