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Officials, private sector come together to launch “crime-free” Phuket

PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

Provincial officials in Phuket are introducing a “crime-free” initiative, in cooperation with the private sector. This is all part of a knee-jerk reaction from officials in tourist hotspots around the country following overseas social media and reports about crime and trafficking in Thailand.

The Phuket Crime-Free scheme was launched with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday. The scheme is designed to ensure the safety of foreign tourists during the coming high season.

It involves provincial officials and police, immigration, tourist police, and the provincial land department office, in partnership with representatives from the private sector. These include the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, Phuket Tourist Association, Phuket Real Estate Association, and the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association.

The chief of Phuket Immigration Police says that during this high season, the island is seeing over 200,000 foreign arrivals a month. This heightens concerns around crime and other offences, such as activities involving narcotics.

Thanet Sukchai adds that the scheme’s primary focus will be on tourist accommodation and ensuring that there is a comprehensive database of hotels, condos, and other properties that are crime and drugs-free.

Thanet says the process will include certification for accommodation facilities that meet the necessary criteria. This will help establish Phuket as a premier global destination in terms of safety and security of tourists.

For Thanet, the collaboration will also help deal with any illegal operators exploiting loopholes to use Thai accommodation as a base for criminal activity.

He says the recent abolition of the TM.6 immigration card, where arriving passengers had to supply details of their accommodation, has resulted in information gaps when it comes to knowing people’s whereabouts while in the kingdom.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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