PHUKET – Tourist Police on Sunday (September 15) launched their “Thailand Road Show 2013”, aimed at letting the public know about the newly launched Tourist Police concept – the “Five Ss” for Smart, Smile, Serve, Safe and Secure.
Also introduced during the road show launch on Bangla Rd were the new Tourist Police mobile units.
There are two types of units. The first is a converted pick-up truck. Pol Maj Bundit Khaosutham, Phuket Tourist Police boss, told The Phuket News, “The mobile unit contains a kitchen, a bathroom, seats that can be used as beds, 40-inch LCD televisions, a fax machine, a photocopier, internet connectivity and a video conference room – all of which tourists may use free.”
Six of these have been built for use in different parts of Thailand. Also on show was a converted trailer on wheels, more of a concept at this point, but considerably roomier than the pick-up. One of these has been made and is being toured around the country while the Tourist Police gather feedback.
Tourist Police commander Pol Col Archayon Kraithong explained, “We aim to build confidence among tourists with our services, to enhance the security of tourists and to optimise the roles of the tourist police and access to our services in several areas.
“Today we are introducing the mobile unit, electric vehicles [Segways] and bikes. We will better understand the needs of tourists in Phuket further after three months’ evaluation.”
Pol Col Archayon added, “The Tourist Police do not work alone. We collaborate with other organisations such as hospitals, the immigration office, police stations, and so on.
“We will organise a schedule for the various sites in Phuket where people can find the Tourist Police mobile unit.”
The project was launched in Ayuthaya last week. After Patong, the project will move on to Pattaya and Hua Hin. Maj Bundit noted that tourists vary greatly from one place to another, “Even though Tourist Police assist tourists in many cases, we also focus on [foreign] criminals. A thousand tourists in Ayuthaya may pose fewer problems than a hundred tourists in Patong.”
Napasanant Punpuing, PR officer for the road show, told The Phuket News, “The mobile unit will be more useful in Phuket, especially in Patong, than it would be in Ayuthaya.
“It is great to see that tourists are very interested in this project and, of course, we are willing to provide helpful information to them.”
Tourist Police volunteer Igor Protasov said, “I can speak six languages, including Thai. When there are no language barriers, international tourists will feel comfortable coming to the police. We will work with Tourist Police officers to help tourists.”
Albert Damon, the Project Officer said, “We are glad to have had good feedback from tourists.” But, he added, “Tourist Police services are only basic ‘first aid’. Cooperating with many other organisations is essential.”