'Pattaya Model' to boost tourist safety
Police plan to introduce the "Pattaya Model", a new set of crime prevention measures, in other provinces popular with tourists after success in finding a number of criminal suspects in this beach resort city.
The results of the crime prevention model has encouraged the Tourist Police Bureau to apply similar methods in Phuket, Koh Samui, Hua Hin, Trat, Rayong and Chiang Mai.
The "Pattaya Model", which was first introduced by the Tourist Police Bureau in Pattaya, uses a mix of high-tech surveillance cameras and crime control measures in crime-heavy areas such as Pattaya Bay.
"We chose Pattaya first because the number of foreign tourists visiting the city is steadily increasing," said Pol Maj Gen Woraphong Thongphaibun, chief of the tourist police's Sub-division 1.
He said the new measures have so far yielded encouraging results. From last year until May this year, there were a total of 1,305 criminal cases, including thefts and physical offences. Up to 1,120 of the individuals suspected of wrongdoing in those cases were brought to justice.
Behind the success of the plan is the installation of smart cameras in downtown Pattaya, Pol Maj Gen Woraphong said.
The 36-million-baht CCTV project enables police to monitor criminal suspects or detect unusual behaviour. The cameras were installed in "vulnerable" areas with a high frequency of legal violations.
According to Pol Maj Gen Woraphong, the cameras can also detect vehicle registration numbers. The technology reinforces police operations to intercept drug trafficking and search for suspects who commit crimes against tourists, he said.
"These cameras have helped us solve many cases, and remind people to think twice before getting into a fight. We plan to install more cameras in Pattaya in the future," said Pol Maj Gen Woraphong.
Police are also taking steps to regulate water activities such as reckless speed boat driving and road violations.
"They may not be considered serious crimes, but every problem can escalate into bloody scuffles or even fatal accidents, which will affect the tourism mood in Pattaya," Pol Maj Gen Woraphong said, adding that the resort city generates up to 230 billion baht in revenue each year.
"We have so far continued to arrest wrongdoers," he said.