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Major General Chalermkiat Sriworakan announces the Safety Zone plan

Phuket Safety Model to be Rolled Out

Thursday, October 4, 2012
PHUKET: The Patong Safety Zone model is likely to be adopted at all 353 police stations across Thailand within a few months, Major General Chalermkiat Sriworakan, Assistant to Thailand's Police Chief, said today.

He was speaking at Phuket Graceland Resort and Spa to police and volunteers who are involved in making the prototype work.

''We have noted a drop in crime since the project began in Patong,'' he said. ''That's something we can use throughout the whole country.

''Once we can confirm the success in Patong, we will spread the concept nationwide.''

He said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had set the aim of maximising Thailand's income from tourism. Police could play their part by ensuring Thailand was a safe destination.

The Patong Safety Zone project centres on dividing the Patong area into six zones, each protected by police working with volunteer residents.

The volunteers are being equipped with sky blue uniforms and bicycle patrols are one of the ideas being tested in Patong.

Two business supporters - Somchat Somnam of Racha island's Rayaburi resort and OTOP Patong chief Wittaya Thaweewongsap - each gave 200,000 baht towards supporting the project today.

Major General Chalermkiat said the project would be rolled out on Phuket first, then in Phang Nga, then around the country as a priority.

''Our aim is to protect tourism, reduce crime, and preserve Thailand's good reputation,'' he said.

The concept has some of the hallmarks of former Governor Wichai Praisa-ngob's ''thousand eyes of the pineapple'' concept, where local residents were asked to tell police of unusual behavior in their neighborhoods.

Security cameras are also being rolled out in Patong even faster since the murder of Australian tourist and travel agent Michelle Smith in Kata Noi earlier this year.

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''We have noted a drop in crime since the project began in Patong,'' he said.

Have they noted an increase elsewhere?

Posted by Buster on October 4, 2012 18:23


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