Gen Surachate explained that the project, titled ‘Old Phuket Town Smart Safety Zone 4.0’, is to cover an area 1.02 square kilometres of Phuket Old Town.
Phuket Town Police Station was one of 15 police stations launching such initiatives under the project, he said.
“The goal is to create a safe area to build confidence and peace of mind for people. Royal Thai Police therefore selected this area as it is a landmark, an economic source and an area where people are afraid of crime,” Lt Gen Surachate said.
“The project is to create a safe area by raising the level of crime prevention in public areas according to the concept of Smart City, by enhancing the work of the police according to the concept of Bureaucracy 2.0, stepping into the digital age by integrating collaboration between the public and private sectors and the Royal Thai Police in the field of crime prevention,” he added.
“Phuket is a pilot province in reviving tourism from the COVID-19 crisis through the Phuket Sandbox, and with the charm and beauty of the Sino-Portuguese architecture in the old town, this area has become an important business district in the heart of the city, which consists of important areas such as hotels, community attractions, temples, museums and schools, where tourists and many business people in the area depend on safety of life and property. Therefore, it is important to the confidence of both Thai and foreign tourists,” Gen Surachate said.
The aim was to use technology to help increase public safety and protect against crime, Gen Surachate added.
Phuket City Police are to apply “technology” to create a safe zone within the city by integrating efforts of local action units with Tourist Police and volunteers, he said.
Gen Surachate’s visit yesterday comes as the Royal Thai Police launches a nationwide campaign to promote public safety and protection of vulnerable people against criminals.
Present for the launch in Phuket Town yesterday were Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Kitrat Panpetch and Region 8 Deputy Commander Maj Gen Saksira Puekam, along with Phuket City Police Chief Col Theerawat Liamsuwan and Deputy Chief Col Sermphan Sirikong.
The public appearance by Col Theerwat marked a return to duty after being called in to face a Royal Thai Police internal investigation into a gambling den being allowed to operate with the Phuket City Police’s area of jurisdiction.
Of note, police in Phuket have yet to recognise any escalation in petty or violent crimes in any areas across the island despite the widespread ongoing and deep financial hardship openly known to be suffered by large sections of the community due to the continuing economic crisis.