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Bangla thugs threaten expat police volunteers, expose lack of police presence

PHUKET: A gang of drunken thugs threatening expat police volunteers on patrol has exposed the lack of police protection provided at the police box at the beach end of Bangla Rd in Patong.

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By The Phuket News

Saturday 25 July 2015, 09:56AM


The gang turned up at the scene in a white pickup at 10:50pm on July 10 and started playing loud music from the vehicle while drinking beers on the steps right in front the police box, noted an incident report filed to Lt Col Pongpichan Chayanonpiriya at the Patong police station.

“There were no police in attendance at the police box all night and it was locked… The people were asked to leave as parking the car [and] drinking alcohol [there] is not allowed and playing loud music was not appropriate at the police box – and they left immediately,” a lead volunteer said in the report.

But the gang was soon back, in greater numbers and looking for a fight. “They returned with more people at 11:20pm, parked the car in the

same spot, played loud music, drank alcohol and told Thai people they were looking for the farang [foreign] police to fight them,” the report said.

“I chose not to engage them as the girl I spoke to outside Starbucks said they were waiting to fight with us and there were no police on Bangla Rd.”

Lt Col Pongphichan Chayanonpiriya, the officer in Patong responsible for co-ordinating police volunteers, this week told The Phuket News that he had little to say to rectify the lack of police presence on the busy tourist street.

“We have three to four officers stationed on Bangla every day, but at that particular time those officers were called to an incident elsewhere. That’s why they could not be found,” he said.

“We also have an officer at the police box every day, but he has to leave the box often to check along the entire three kilometres length of the road, from the bridge at the southern end of the beach road to the ‘dolphin circle’ at the northern end.

“That one officer has much to do, and all on Thaweewong Rd only,” said Col Pongphichan.

“I presume that the officer was not at the police box at the time of the incident because he was performing these duties.”

Col Pongphichan noted that expat police volunteers have no law-enforcement rights whatsoever unless a regular officer on duty is with them, which is often the case.

He also assured that anyone who assaulted a volunteer would face the law.

Despite having the report and photos for more than a week, Col Pongphichan on Wednesday said that no effort had been made to find the culprits, as the report did not constitute an official complaint.

However, by Thursday (July 30), he contacted The Phuket News to confirm that efforts to locate the gang were underway.

 

 

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edward partridge | 20 August 2015 - 10:53:14

is this the world famous beach at the end of bangla rd.so the beaches are cleared of loungers  umbrellas  vendors  etc and trash like that can congregate at will ,with their booze, heavy dope,intimidation,etc,behind of all places,a police station. where,s the priorities?..patong does want tourists?  or not?.and who,d volunteer for the tourist police.they dont seem to attract much respect or backup...

Marcos989 | 25 July 2015 - 15:08:21

Obviously, these Thais do not fear arrest, conviction or sentencing for the fighting they came to engage in. That says it all. Did they have weapons? That there has been no strong police response is also crystal clear whom has the power. My advice to tourists is do not come to Bangla it is out of control.

CynicalBastard | 25 July 2015 - 14:54:54

That's why I will never be a police volunteer here in Thailand. Whatever you want to do and if you want to make it right (the way it should be) will not work here because those thugs have already paid good money for their impunity. Don't you agree? 

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