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The present Superintendent of Kathu Police Station greets tourists last night during a drill in Soi Bangla aimed at highlighting safety in Patong

Social Media Helping to Beat Phuket Crime Against Tourists, Says Police Chief

Monday, November 16, 2015
PHUKET: The safety of tourists has improved markedly over the past few years, the Phuket Police Commander, Major General Teerapon Tipjalern, has told Phuketwan.

Major General Teerapon disclosed that a taxi driver on Phuket who beat a tourist last month had been arrested and would be punished.

There were fewer crimes against tourists because these days, ''social media goes very fast.''

His comment has fresh relevance following terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut that appear to be aimed at frightening people into travelling less.

Major General Teerapon said that Thailand could certainly use more police but that ''we expect all residents to be law-abiding citizens.''

''Phuket is a very safe place for tourists,'' he said, speaking before the latest attacks. ''We have tackled the issue of tourism safety many times and safety has been improved each time.''

Residents and volunteers joined with police to make the holiday island a safer place, coupled with the more widespread use of security cameras.

''If we have everybody working with the police, we can guarantee a high level of safety,'' he said.

He added that the tourism industry was all about service and if tourists were treated well - without being subjected to rip-offs and scams.

''Everybody has to be professional in their approach, whether it be taxi or tuk-tuk drivers or jet-ski operators,'' he said.

Because of social media, ''if something wrong happens, the news spreads very quickly.''

''The number of complaints is well down on what it used to be,'' he said.

The general is a former superintendent at Kathu Police Station, which oversees the west coast holiday hub of Patong.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


It is a pleasant development that Phuket Authorities by now realize and understand the 'power' of the international social media. Great.

It is still about the jet ski industry that Phuket authorities are not 'home'/control yet.
A serious issue of not enforcing thai laws.
It effects Phuket thai police image. Pity.

Posted by Kurt on November 16, 2015 11:58


30 years since I 1st set foot here and not then nor now has it ever felt (or been for me) dangerous. It was of course a very different place then, about the most pleasant in the world! Then!!!

Posted by juswunderin on November 16, 2015 15:43


Bangla Where you can Find woman made out of plastic and men look like woman

Posted by zig on November 16, 2015 21:11


Actually there is no link between " fewer crimes against tourists" , and, "because social media goes very fast".

Because of the international social media the thai police feels the breath of it in their neck and have to become more active in just doing their job.

So, there actually is a link between the "social media" and the police who get aware of the social media.

Criminals not decrease to lower level of crime committing because of the Social Media. Only when the police becomes more pro active in crime fighting.

Posted by Kurt on November 17, 2015 10:16


That should attract the Chinese to Bangla as they love their inflatable rubber girlfriends.

Posted by MoW on November 17, 2015 10:38


Well, all the social media evidence and coverage was right there for everyone to see about the brutal beating of the Australian men by the White Room security guards, yet the police did virtually nothing.

A warning not to do it again (at least not in front of cameras) was all that came out of it.

Except of course the threats of physical harm towards the brave Thai man who shot and published the video.

Am I supposed to think it's safer for a tourist now in Phuket because of "social media" ?

Please stop insulting my intelligence.

Posted by Herbert on November 17, 2015 14:28

Editor Comment:

There was talk the security guards were sacked, Herbert.Plainly, exposure on social media, combined with security cameras, adds a layer of potential for punishment and is better to have than to not have. Fear of negative consequences is stronger, criminal activity is lower. Please apply your intelligence to that.


Yes, Ed, as always, there was (very little) talk but no action.

No official came out to condemn the action. Where was the new Governor stepping in and speaking out for the protection of the tourists ?

Only statement I found was the police trying to justify the action of the bouncers.

Potential but no real world punishment. Not even when presented with indisputable video evidence. How that makes things safer for tourists I really don't know.

If anything, it puts every person who dares to capture video of such incidents in even more danger than before. Examples aplenty from even just this year.

Posted by Herbert on November 17, 2015 16:12

Editor Comment:

Police did not pursue the matter because the ''victims'' fled home, Herbert. We argued that the video evidence alone was enough. The person who took the footage and posted it on - what's it called - ah yes, SOCIAL MEDIA - showed courage. The victims showed none. Social media triggered an enormous reaction. However, one incident does not make tourists less safe. Our view, and the police view, is that there is less violence now than once in Patong. You and Kurt disagree. I know which side I favor.

Friday December 8, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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