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Phuket security zone 'cuts crime by 30pc'

PHUKET: Kathu Police called a meeting at the Graceland hotel in Patong on Thursday (October 4), along with police volunteers and the press to raise awareness of security zoning in Patong. Already, the project has cut crime rates by a third, police say.


Isaya Thongchua

Saturday 6 October 2012, 12:14PM


CCTV images were crucial in tracking the killers (on motorbike) of Australian travel agent Michelle Smith in June this year.
CCTV images were crucial in tracking the killers (on motorbike) of Australian travel agent Michelle Smith in June this year.

Police want to persuade the Patong community and business owners to turn their CCTV cameras away from their premises to face the street so that they can be used to watch the neighborhood for any suspicious activity.

“Getting extra sets of eyes and ears on the street has already helped reduced the drug use and crime rate by 30 per cent,” stated Lt Col Akanit Danpitsat.

People in Patong can bring their laptop computers to Kathu Police Station to get an access code and password set up so that they can log in to the police CCTV cameras as well, he said.

Kathu Police have also been enlisting and working with a growing number of volunteers over the past four months. These volunteers include tuk-tuk drivers, security guards and small business owners along the beachfront whose sun beds can be used as makeshift stretchers when needed.

They are also being given police radios so they can report incidents without having to rely on the telephone system. (Telephones systems were overwhelmed with calls during the 2004 Asian Tsunami and again during the tsunami alert in April this year.)

The ongoing preparations are being made in advance of the expected onslaught of tourists in the upcoming high season in Phuket.

Once the Patong Security Zone has been successfully installed, it will be used as a model for other security zones across the island.

Phuket Police aim to have sufficient CCTV cameras set up for this all over Phuket within a year.

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