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Phuket's Soi Bangla is where expat volunteers usually patrol

Expat Volunteers End Patong Stopwork

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
PHUKET: A stop-work by Region 8 volunteers whose patrols in Patong are essential for the protection of tourists may end soon after a meeting with senior police, the volunteers' leader said today.

The 35 volunteers walked away from regular patrols last Thursday because they believe their concerns to improve safety in Soi Bangla walking street and other parts of Patong were being ignored.

In a statement to Phuketwan this afternoon, Mr Brown, who is the group's coordinator, said a meeting had been ''sorted out'' for Wednesday and he was hopeful that the volunteers would get a hearing of all their grievances.

''There are some issues that need to be resolved re the attitude of some police,'' Mr Borwn said.

''I believe these are the new police appointed to Patong not being advised who the volunteers are and how to communicate with them.''

Mr Brown made the point that the volunteers came from 12 countries and often had communication problems among themselves because of the many languages they used.

''One key point is for police to feel comfortable trying to use English because we all get things wrong from time to time,'' he said.

He hopes on Wednesday to raise the issue of better communication and several other issues that concern corruption and tourist safety.

Statement from Region 8 Volunteers

Thank you for allowing me to comment on your article, it's hard to say we are not on strike when we are not patrolling.

The decision was made last week not to patrol Patong until we have a meeting with the new Colonel at Patong.

This was the result of another failed attempt to have a meeting with senior staff at Patong. Not the Colonel this time.

We usually have a meeting every month, however we have not been able to have a meeting for the past four months.

Since our decision not to patrol we have sorted out a meeting time for Wednesday March 11 at 10am and from then we should be able to get things moving again.

After meetings with Governor Nisit and the Phuket Commander Major General Pachara we needed to take information back to the Superintendent at Patong Police.

There are some issues that need to be resolved re the attitude of some Police. I believe these are the new police appointed to Patong not being advised who the volunteers are and how to communicate with them.

Its not easy when there are 35 volunteers from 12 countries with as much cultural confusion thrown in to make the ideal work environment.

One problem is that the new police feel embarrassed trying to communicate with volunteers so they ignore the volunteer and walk away.

We have had several complaints from Embassies and Consuls with information that has come from tourists with issues with the police, we hope to be able to discuss these on Wednesday as well.

Our volunteers talk to hundreds of tourists and expats each week and we try to coordinate their information and take it to our monthly meetings so the police can take that information to the various government departments.

As far as some of the comments on line, any member of the public is welcome to discuss what we do working as volunteers. If you think we are corrupt it is probably because that is what you would do.

When we have an issue about from a tourists or expat about how they are being treated we are the first to take the information to a Government authority to try to sort the problem out.

Wal Brown,
Coordinator, Region 8 Volunteers


Comments have been disabled for this article.


They will get a rollicking for getting the media involved........loss of face and all that.

Posted by Sir Burr on March 10, 2015 18:19


Good on you guys. Good luck with the negotiations. I will be leaving Phuket next week so please let me use this opportunity to wish you all the best, especially to the Phuketwan team!

Posted by Sam Wilko on March 10, 2015 19:06

Editor Comment:

Leaving, Sam? That's a bit of a shock. Where are you heading and why?


Alan, we're heading to Issan. Why? Oh, take a look around you and see the island through the eyes of a younger man who came here some 20 years ago as I did and weep... I also wish to elongate my kids from stupid traffic accidents, that is until they go to uni. I'll miss you, you old ornery git.

Posted by Sam Wilko on March 10, 2015 23:10


Would be nice to have contact information available so each tourist can reach the volunteers,I visit Phuket and Thailand in general since 15 years and it's the first time i hear from them in Phuket,i knew some in Pattaya.

Posted by Khun Philippe on March 10, 2015 23:47


Good Luck Sam

I am off to Khanom soon same sort of reasons 25 years in Rawai and now dont feel at home.

you having a going a way do ? been many years since bumped into you we both had farang wives then lol

Posted by Michael on March 11, 2015 09:37


Still dont understand why they do it, I was approached by Chalong Police station and asked to do some drug buys as I was a farang and could approach the guys when i asked what was in it for me they had nothing to offer. Yes I would like to see the end of nasty drugs but at risk to me and family I think not

Posted by Michael on March 11, 2015 11:48

Wednesday March 29, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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