We need thousands of CCTVs – Prompong
PHUKET: Pheu Thai Party Spokesman Prompong Nopparit was in Phuket again on Saturday (February 18). But this time he was not investigating dubious land deeds.
Tuesday 21 February 2012, 02:58PM
Instead, he was on the island to push for a Big Brother solution to security problems, with local businesses being urged to install CCTV cameras inside and outside their premises, starting with Patong, and all citizens being encouraged to act as volunteer informers for the police.
There are currently just under 20 police CCTV cameras in Patong, but five of these are broken.
Mr Prompong said the security campaign aims to increase numbers of CCTV camera in Patong to ensure greater protection from crime for both locals and tourist.
If 80 per cent of businesses were to join the campaign, he said, this would mean there would be more than 10,000 cameras in Patong, with 160 on Soi Bangla alone.
He also urged local people to become part of the island’s security system, reporting any incidents or suspicious activity to police or other authorities.
Phuket will be a pilot province for what will become a nationwide campaign, he said. The goal would be to have 250,000 voluntary informers around Phuket – roughly the entire Thai population of the island.
“We have to depend on ourselves,” Mr Prompong said. “We can’t just rely on support from the government.”
A campaign to get Patong businesses to install CCTV cameras is already underway, started unofficially last year by a group of local businesspeople.
One of them, Patong Entertainment Business Association President Weerawit Kurasombat, said the campaign has been successful in Soi Tan, at the southern end of Patong, with most local business people installing CCTV cameras to watch their premises.
However, a lack of budget to promote the campaign had meant it had so far been impossible to raise awareness across all of Patong.
Mr Weerawit said he expected Mr Prompong’s visit would help, focusing local attention on the matter and attracting financial support from the government once Mr Prompong, as he promised, had passed on details of the private campaign to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.