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Additional recruits may shorten long queues at Phuket and Bangkok airports

Police Set to Bolster Phuket, Suvarnabhumi Immigration Counters

Thursday, March 22, 2012
PHUKET: Police plan reinforcements for Immigration counters at Phuket and Suvarnabhumi airports to ease travel delays as ambitious officers nationwide are being warned: ''Don't worry about the guy on the seventh floor.''

The quote from the Chief of the Royal Thai Police appears to refer to a senior politician. The pointed reference comes from General Priewpan Damapong as top police consider changes to superintendents' postings at all of Thailand's police stations.

Senior police meet tomorrow and new appointments - including any for Phuket's eight stations - are due to be announced on March 31.

Thai media reported today that General Priewpan said that the Thai Royal Police was ''not the same as other organisations.''

Aspirants to senior positions would be appointed on merit, he said, not on appeals to well-placed people in politics.

General Priewpan said that Royal Thai Police - he also overseas Immigration police - were now selecting almost 100 police who can speak English to reinforce and relieve the pressure on Immigration counters at Suvarnabhumi and Phuket.

Police stations on Phuket consist of a headquarters in Phuket City and eight stations around the island.

Repeated requests have been made to increase the number of officers on Phuket to match its real population and its importance to tourism, rather than in proportion to its 320,000 registered citizens.

Phuket's new Police Commander, Major General Chonsit Wadhnawarangkun, arrived on Phuket in late December. Earlier this month he established a special squad based at police HQ that operates across the entire island.

Colonel Sirisak Wasasiri, who has had previous experience as a deputy superintendent on Phuket at Chalong, Cherng Talay and Thalang, replaced Colonel Vichid Intharasorn as Superintendent at Chalong Police Station late last month.

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