The new cameras first went live last Saturday (Nov 16), and will be fully operational this Friday (Nov 22), explained Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup.
“The system from the new cameras cost B11 million – B9mn for the CCTV system and B2mn to set up the control centre,” she said.
“The entire budget was funded by Patong Municipality alone. We take safety as priority, in order to build tourists’ confidence,” she added.
The new CCTV cameras are installed along the Patong beachfront, from bridge at the southern end of the beach to Bangla Rd.
The footage from the new cameras joins the CCTV network already in operation throughout Patong, which is delivered to the Patong Municiaplty control centre, the control centre at Patong Police Station and the CCTV monitoring centre operating at Phuket Provincial Hall.
“All footage from the CCTV cameras can be monitored from the safety control and monitoring center, and we can use the information to make plans for city development,” Mayor Chalermluck said.
The smart CCTV system can even support lifeguards in protecting tourists on the beach, she added.
“For example, the cameras have sensors that can identify objects moving at night, which might be a tourist walking into the water. If this happens, an official [observing from the control centre] can call the Patong Baywatch volunteer team*, which patrols the beach at night. The Baywatch team can then warn tourists or even rescue them from the water in time,” Mayor Chalermluck explained.
“The cameras can even be used to identify suspicious objects, such as bags left behind in busy areas. Then we can inform the EOD [bomb squad] to inspect that object.
“Plus officials can monitor the traffic situation and the system can monitor air quality, the amount of rainfall, and even the water quality in Pak Bang Canal, all from the safety control and monitoring centre,” she added.
“We plan to install 50 more CCTV such cameras in other parts of Patong and link them to the same system. This expansion of the project is planned to be rolled out in 2021,” Mayor Chalermluck said.
* The Patong Baywatch team is a group of seven people, including former lifeguards, who patrol Patong Beach for safety. The team was created and remains funded by the Patong Development Foundation, which was founded by local businessman Preechavude ‘Prab’ Keesin, a son of long-time former Patong Mayor Pian Keesin.