Lt Gen Kitrat Panpetch handed over the devices, which scan Thai ID cards, yesterday (Aug 16), with B14,359 given as the cost of the card readers, but no cost of the phones reported.
Present to receive the devices yesterday was Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Maj Gen Saksira Puek-am.
Fellow Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Aganit Danpitaksat noted that the Phuket Checkpoint at Tha Chatchai had become a provincial disease screening point since the Phuket Sandbox scheme was launched on July 1.
“We have cooperated with all relevant officials on the island. There are officers from Royal Thai Army, Phuket Immigration, Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO), and our local police stations working together at the checkpoint,” Col Aganit said.
“From a meeting with CCSA [the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration], the Royal Thai Police has ordered all officers at the checkpoint to use a Checkpoint Control system by using a Covid Control application,” Col Aganit said.
“The application needs to be used with the card readers to check all drivers’ criminal history and any outstanding arrest warrants. Therefore, we are introducing such a system to be used with hope of seeing concrete results. It also makes for a higher level of crime prevention, as well as boosting confidence among tourists traveling and coming to Phuket,” he said.
Lt Gen Kitrat explained that the Checkpoint Control system will shorten the time officers take checking drivers. “The phones and card readers work together to check for outstanding arrest warrants, the person’s criminal history and their COVID-19 infection history. The information will be saved and shared in a ‘Big Data’ system of the Region 8 Police,” he said.
“The system is also transparent and able to be examined, so we can create trust among tourists and local people very well,” he added.
No mention was made yesterday that the move to check domestic arrivals to Phuket for elements of criminality was presented at a meeting in Phuket led by Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn along with national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk just 11 days ago.
That meeting was held in a call for increased safety measures following the death of 57-year-old Swiss tourist Nicole Sauvain-Weisskopf, whose body was found near the Ao Yon Waterfall on Phuket’s east coast one day earlier.
In the manhunt for Ms Sweiss-Keopf’s killer, now arrested and confessed, Gen Suwat ordered that all people arriving or leaving the island to first be cleared after having their criminal history checked, starting Aug 7.