The meeting, held on Oct 7 at Phuket Provincial Hall, followed a horrific attack on a preschool in Nong Bua Lamphu province which left 37 people killed, including 24 children. The attacker later shot himself.
The assembly started with a minute’s silence in the memory of those killed in the attack.
Present at Phuket Provincial Hall were chiefs of all official agencies in Phuket as well as local Buddhist and Islamic leaders Phra Khru Metta Phirom and Komol Dumlak.
Addressing the audience, Gov Narong explained that he convened the meeting to listen to the opinions of all parties and jointly work out a plan to prevent violent incidents in Phuket’s educational institutions, reported the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
The Governor stressed that emphasis must also be made on drug suppression with all sectors actively fighting drug abuse in the province. Heads of government agencies were urged “to be strict about the behaviour of their officers especially in the matter of drugs.”
“If officers are involved in drugs, legal action must be taken. As for weapons, they must be closely controlled to prevent incidents,” the meeting was told.
Governor Narong reminded about the national hotlines 1300 and 1567 that can be used to inform relevant authorities about of drug abuse. Drug testing every three months was also mentioned as one of the measures of strict narcotics control.
What was not mentioned in the PR Phuket report, was the death of a 7-year-old Phuket girl just two months ago (Aug 6) who was shot with a policeman’s gun.
The tragic incident happened at a housewarming party attended by a police officer who left his loaded Sig Sauer pistol unwatched in an unlocked bedside drawer. The gun was found by the girl’s 9-year-old cousin who accidentally shot her while the two were playing.
Phuket Police admitted the incident following public pressure on social media. Yet nothing has been reported so far about any actions taken against the officer involved.