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Aussies ripped off in a Patong  jet-ski scam in 2013: not so many now

Phuket Police Say Crime is Down in Patong and the 'Safety Zone' Achieved It

Thursday, January 23, 2014
PHUKET: Police are claiming a major reduction in crimes of all kinds in Patong after the introduction of a safety campaign that has produced a community response to troublemakers.

The reduction represents a massive improvement since the Patong Safety Zone was introduced following the bag-snatch killing of Australian tourist Michelle Smith at Kata Noi in June, 2012.

''We have held seminars with police to create a service mentality to prevent crimes,'' the Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, Colonel Jirapat Palchanaphan, said today.

Other sources verify the reduction in crimes. Although Australian honorary consul Larry Cunningham retired in September and has yet to be replaced, Australian Embassy officials in Bangkok say they have been pleasantly surprised by the drop in cases on Phuket.

Patong police volunteers now say police officers often make foot patrols with them, and there's a proactive approach that wasn't always evident in the past.

For a time, a new scam involving sales of marijuana at night on the beach was netting unsuspecting tourists - until police decided to get rid of the scammers.

Transfers are believed to have occurred from the local police station where officers have been accused of trying to extort money from tourists in tight situations.

The greater presence of police, though, appears to have coincided with a drop-off in the numbers of people visiting Soi Bangla, the nightspot heartbeat for Phuket after dark.

Whether this is because of a dramatic increase in prices, as some tourists say, or because of the street protests in Bangkok, it's impossible to know for certain just yet.

Pop star Rihanna's tweet about sex shows and her posting of a ''selfie'' online with a protected slow loris in Soi Bangla have probably led to the situation today where touts and animals are seldom sighted, although the sleazy pingpong shows continue.

''Before we had this Patong safety zone project,'' Colonel Jirapat said today, ''locals were not especially concerned about the safety of tourists.

''We've engaged the local residents, the owners of businesses and their staff, so that all are members of the project. We know the government doesn't have enough of a supporting budget for security cameras so we've worked with private enterprise to make the network effective.

''We continue to have seminars with restaurants, hotels, bars and car park security guards and we give them the knowledge about how to spot people who might behave badly.

''The main thing is, we have created a service mentality that didn't exist before to prevent crimes. Calls are made immediately now to stop fighting or drunken behavior.

''Everybody knows the direct phone number of the police officers in each district.

''It's also much better on the beach. Umbrella lounger staff, beach lifeguards and vendors have all set up committees to minimise problems.''

He said the message has been ''Don't leave crimes to the police.'' These days, Colonel Jirapat said, ''Police talk and walk.''

Although the next step on clarifying Patong's beach road parking depended on Patong's Kathu council, the colonel said there had been regular raids on tuk-tuks and taxi ranks for weapons and drugs.

The drivers were well aware of the need to toe the line and prevent crime. Even jet-ski insurance problems have been drastically reduced, say police volunteers.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


It's great to hear that no more jet ski scams or Tuk Tuk problems will plague Patong Beach any more.

If the sleazy ping pong shows can be wiped out that should boost visitors to Bangla Road

Posted by Fantasy A Go Go on January 27, 2014 01:34

Wednesday March 29, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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