Royal Thai Police Region 8 Commander Lt Gen Tesa Siriwato, who is based at the Region 8 headquarters in Mai Khao at the northern end of Phuket, told the press during a visit to Nakhon Sri Thammarat that police have boosted security in “risk areas”.
Extra patrols have been ordered in all affected areas, including Phang Nga and Phuket, and especially in tourist attraction areas, Gen Tesa told Thai online news portal Manager online in a story posted today (Aug 15). (See story here.)
Gen Tesa called on “communities” to be vigilant and said that he had ordered officers to specifically focus on small hotels in the move to prevent further bombings.
Gen Tesa also called on vendors to be extra wary and to regularly check their own stalls to prevent bombers from planting devices in dense market areas.
“For example, vendors should check for devices inside bags for sale in the store and in stacks of clothes,” he said.
Regarding the hunt for suspects, Gen Tesa, who as Region 8 Police chief is responsible for Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi, said he had ordered officers in attack sites to check all CCTV footage in their areas.
However, he added that he could not reveal information police had gathered so far.
In June, Region 8 Police volunteers reported that CCTV cameras on Bangla Rd had not been working for months. Patong Police Chief Col Chaiwat Uikum dismissed the reports, but has yet to disprove the volunteers’ claims. (See story here.)
Meanwhile, hundreds of staff and residents turned out for a parade along Bangla Rd late this afternoon organised by the Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) and led by PEBA President Weerawit Kuresombat.
Members of the parade carried banners that read “Patong City will be stronger” and “Pray for stronger Patong”.
As part of the mass event, Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup strolled along Bangla Rd and handed out leaflets to tourists explaining how to spot a bomb and what to do if people, including tourists, found a “suspicious item”.
Key points in the leaflets were to not handle any suspect items, and to report any suspect packages by calling the police national hotline 191 or the Tourist Police hotline 1155.
Alternatively, people can call the Patong branch of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) at 076-321321 or 076-342769.
The campaign to hand out the bomb awareness guides to tourists will continue for three days, explained Mayor Chalermluck.
“Police will coordinate with shops, pubs, bars and restaurants on Bangla Rd. We have to increase awareness of the incident among people. We fully support the officers who are on duty 24 hours to keep us safe,” she said.
“I want to people and tourists to place their trust in us, that we are here to provide safety and support,” Mayor Chalermluck added.