Dr Pichet was in Phuket in person to hear from officials their top projects under the ambit of the Phuket Smart City at a meeting at the Phuket Provincial office of the Department of Disaster Mitigation & Prevention (DDPM-Phuket) yesterday afternoon.
Top priority was given to the ability of CCTV to help officials catch criminals.
“We need to work more on having as much CCTV footage from across the island connect with the DDPM CCTV command centre,” Dr Pichet said.
“The ability to identify people by seeing their faces helps greatly to catch criminals, and this greatly works towards increasing the safety of tourists,” he added.
Dr Pichet also inspected the inspected CCTV command centre at the DDPM-Phuket offices, where he was shown that the 37 cameras with licence-plate recognition ability (LPR) currently set up at 10 installation points has so far recorded 59.38 million instances of identifying the licence plates of vehicles on Phuket’s roads.
Of note, in August last year Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong revealed that provincial officials plan to add 1,500 CCTV cameras to high-risk areas, including in traffic blackspots.
“We want to prevent problems before they happen,” he said.
Other issues raised with Dr Pichet yesterday included IT support for officials to maintain accurate, up-to-date databases of information from the pubic water transport industry, including tourist safety wristbands that can help track and identify tourists (see story here.)
Another issue raised was the 1,000-point free Wi-Fi for public use, which despite a grandstand announcement in 2016 that the B240-million was to roll out “within months” (see story here) has yet to fully materialise.
At the same meeting in August last year, Gov Norraphat explained to honorary consuls in Phuket that 60% of Phuket now has free Wi-Fi and that “the remainder will be set up by the end of next month”.
Phuket Vice Governor Thawornwat Kongkaew explained to Dr Pichet that Gov Norraphat wants to push and support and the budget to make the “Phuket Smart City: project a reality, with Phuket to be used as a model province for other provinces to follow.
“The development of the Smart City project is moving ahead under coordination by the Digital Economy ministry, with the project designed to develop Phuket in seven areas: Smart Economy; Smart Tourism; Smart Health; Smart Education; Smart Safety; Smart Government; and Smart Environment
“All seven parts will lead us to become Thailand 4.0,” he said.
“And all of this, especially with improved safety and security systems up and running, will lead to tourists having increased confidence in coming to Phuket,” he added.