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Patong CCTV units on the blink



PHUKET: The majority of closed-circuit television (CCTV) security cameras in Patong don’t work, the Gazette has learned.

There are more than 20 security cameras sited in key locations in Patong, but only eight are still functioning properly.

Most of the ten CCTV units provided by Patong Municipality are still in operation, but most of the units provided by the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) are out of order due to lack of maintenance, say reliable sources at Kathu Police station.

The only PPAO unit still in operation is near the tourist information office, the source say.

Among the units installed by Patong Municipality, those at Wat Suwan Kiriwong junction, 50 Pi Road junction and Patong Municipal Football Field are also out of order.

Kathu Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakhao said “CCTV units along Soi Bangla are working, but the rest have had problems for over a year.  We plan to ask Patong Municipality and the PPAO for budgets to get them fixed or replaced, but it will take a while because these will need to be funded under budgets for the next fiscal year.”

CCTV surveillance has been promoted in Phuket in recent years as a way of increasing security on the island, which has just over 1,000 police officers for a population estimated to exceed one million people at peak tourism periods.

As expressed in the Gazette‘s online forum, letters to the editor, and a poll conducted by the newspaper 3 months ago, Gazette readers have been skeptical about the efficacy of CCTV in combating crime, however.

The poll found that two-thirds of those who voted thought plans to expand CCTV coverage in and around Phuket Town wouldn’t make any difference in the fight against crime.

— Atchaa Khamlo


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