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Phuket Games 2012 will  test  Phuket's traffic and its police

Phuket Games Will Stretch Us To Limit, Say Phuket Police

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
PHUKET: Police are concerned that their numbers on Phuket are being stretched to breaking point by the Phuket Games 2012, which begin on Saturday and run until June 5.

As Phuketwan revealed yesterday, traffic is already rapidly growing worse because of an influx of thousands of competitors, officials and families onto Phuket, where everyone has their own vehicles.

And today Phuket's Deputy Police Commander Colonel Peerayut Karajedee warned that even with Phuket police numbers boosted to 1888, it simply was not possible to devote the 912 officers demanded by the organisers of the 28th National Youth Games.

''Police are being asked to act as security guards at the 39 places where participants will be billetted [mostly at Phuket's schools, which have closed.],'' Colonel Peerayut told a planning meeting today.

''We don't have police to spare for that kind of job. Originally we were asked to help protect four places. Now that number has swollen to 39.''

He pointed out that police will also have to cope with escorts for VIPs from Bangkok and virtually every other province in Thailand.

Phuiket's roads have begun to feel the pressure as participants from 12 provinces arrived yesterday and 11 more are due today.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area around Phuket City's Surakul Stadium, where opening and closing ceremonies will take place in the evenings on May 26 and June 5, and Saphan Hin, where a dinner for 6000 is to be held on Friday evening.

About 40 sports are to be contested all over Phuket, with the exception of Kamala. Kamala police will be called on to help police in Phuket's other seven police regions.

Phuket's meagre allocation of police - often a subject of criticism by honorary consuls concerned about the safety and security of tourists - has grown to 1888 with the addition of Tourist Police and Marine Police.

However, Colonel Peerayut said today that the Games organisers will need to call for volunteers to supplement police numbers.

''One policeman working with three volunteers is the way this needs to be organised,'' he said.

He also said that with the Phuket Games just three days away, police had yet to be supplied with a definitive list of which sports will be played where and when.

Police plan to use the vacant schools as parking lots but many of the events run all day from 8am so all Phuket motorists are advised to plan their trips with care.

A full list of events, dates and times can be found at phuketgames.com - in the Thai language. Officials have yet to understand that Phuket is an international holiday island, and as such needs to be bilingual.

The island's Russian and Chinese visitors will have to fend for themselves.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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The games will be a boost for the economy but at what cost. Traffic will be chaotic with increased accidents for sure. Crime will likely be on the rise as opportunists will descend on the island to take advantage (including the local transportation service). The students have not been in class since the first week of February and now will not be 'allowed' back into their schools until the 2nd week of June. Nearly 4 months out of school! Perhaps our problems will now be in the face of all Thais and some action may come from it. Good luck to the police and I hope to enjoy some of the games activities now I just need to learn to read Thai this week.

Posted by Jon on May 22, 2012 14:35

Editor Comment:

Not been in class since the first week of February? Don't think that's true . . .

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I live in Phuket town and the traffic due to the Games is certainly pretty bad. To ad to the congestion they have blocked off a major road leading to the Town centre for resurfacing, surely this is not a good time to carry out road maintenance as it just ads to the traffic problems especially for the police having to control congestion.

Posted by Rod on May 22, 2012 15:06

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ED: Believe it, I'm a teacher at the largest High School on the island, strictly speaking of our own 3000 students. Not sure about all the schools but most are closing for the games.

Posted by Jon on May 22, 2012 19:24

Editor Comment:

Yes, we know that. But has the school been closed since February?


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