Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos confirmed to The Phuket News today (May3) that graffiti “tags” have been painted on rocks, road signs and walls from Nai Harn to Chalong.
“I do not know who is responsible for these marks spray painted all over the area and I have already reported to Chalong Police when our own trucks were marked earlier this year,” he said.
In March, police were riled by graffiti painted on landmarks near popular tourist beaches and local council trucks “tagged” with spray paint. Initially a search was launched for foreigners suspected of being the perpetrators, but no arrests were made. (See story here.)
Chalong Police Chief Col Noppadon Thiraprawat told The Phuket News this morning that his officers had boosted patrols, but were otherwise powerless to catch the culprits without help from the local community.
“We have ordered more patrols to look for any leads, but most of the areas where the vandalism has taken place has no CCTV coverage, which makes it almost impossible to catch the perpetrators – unless we actually catch them in the act,” he said.
Mayor Aroon branded the people behind the tagging as “immature”, but hoped to bring their “artistic skills into the fold by providing them a platform to present their skills.
“I am sure these are the works of the young and immature persons who like to show off their ‘artistic skills’, but they have exercised it in the wrong way and at the wrong places,” he said.
“It is difficult for local officials and police to find the perpetrators. We don’t know how many there are and no one sees them in action regardless of how many police officers on the roads. Most of the time we only see graffiti after it is already on the rocks or walls, which is too late.
Mayor Aroon urged residents and tourists to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in tourist areas and along roads for any suspects who might be vandalising state property.
“If you can, please take a picture of them in action and report it to us or to police so we can bring them in,” he said.
“Vandalising government property is a crime and these guys need to know that. If these so called ‘street artists’ want to express themselves and bring their art to life, we will find a place for them to do so.
“I have discussed with officials to arrange Laem Promthep as a place for these street artists to exhibit their artworks. In near future, we want to them to bring their art works here so residents and tourists can appreciate them.” Mayor Aroon added.
To report any graffiti in your area, call Rawai Municipality at 076-613801 or contact them through the official Facebook page, here.
Alternatively, call the Chalong Police at 076-381247.