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Phuket Governor puts spotlight back on Tourist Police



PHUKET: Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut highlighted the good work done by the Phuket Tourist Police this morning, about a month after the reputation of the department was tarnished by an ex-member becoming a drug dealer.

Phuket Tourist Police Inspector Urumporn Koondejsumrit was asked to attend the governor’s monthly meeting and speak about the opportunities for expats to become involved with the organization.

“You must be willing to help others without expecting anything in return,” Maj Urumporn said. “You also must be healthy and, above all, you must not be involved in any criminal behavior.”

Maj Urumporn conveyed is disappointment with the recent fall from grace of well-known ex-Tourist Police Volunteer Garry Halpin, who confessed to dealing ya ice (crystal methamphetamine).

“We are sorry about this case [story here]. However, before he was arrested Gary helped us a lot,” Maj Urumporn said.

“He did it [drug delaing] as part of his personal life. We cannot control his life after work,” Maj Urumporn added.

Highlighting the good work done by the Tourist Police and their volunteers, Maj Urumporn cited the recent rescue of a French family from the jungle (story here).

“We handle a lot of situations like this,” he said.

The Tourist Police have 36 foreign volunteers from 16 countries and 18 Thai volunteers. Tourists can call 1155 at anytime if they are in need of assistance, or they can speak with officers posted near the Bangla police box (map here).

“We are all volunteering to help tourists on the island,” long-term Tourist Police Volunteer Khan Sameer said. “We are working to find solutions for everyone on the island.”

— Chutharat Plerin


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