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Vol. 24 No.4
October - December 2007

ISSN 0125-0159

Editor's Note
His Majesty the King’s Intellectual Property as a Tool of Development
Her Majesty the Queen’s Model Farms for the Secure Life of Her People
Arts & Style
The Supreme Artist Hall in Honor of the Genius King
In Focus
The Election That Return Democracy to the Nation
Reversing the Erosion of Muddy Coasts: A Breakthrough by Thai Experts
A Center for Holistic Medicine in Chiang Rai
Special Feature
PRD Museum and Archive: A Learning Center on the Early Stages of Broadcasting and Public Relations
A Greater Sense of Security on Samui Island
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A Greater Sense of Security on Samui Island

Natural beauty and tranquility, as well as ease of travel, make the island of Koh Samui a popular destination and leisure paradise for both local and foreign tourists. Koh Samui (Samui Island), a district of Surat Thani province, is 59 kilometers northeast of downtown Surat Thani and 739 kilometers from Bangkok. Visitors who arrive on the mainland of Surat Thani may take a ferry from Don Sak district to reach Koh Samui. There are also direct flights to the islands small but picturesque airport, and many tourists use the service. Because a large number of visitors come to the island, the security of their life and property is a serious matter, and it is the joint responsibility of both the government and the private sector.

Police Major General Thesa Siriwatho, the chief of the Surat Thani police force, is highly aware of the necessity of security for local people and tourists on Koh Samui. The beautiful island is under the jurisdiction of the Koh Samui police station, situated at 17 Thaweerat Phakdee Road, Moo 3, Tambon Ang Thong subdistrict. The location of the station, however, was an obstacle to good service for the public, especially for visitors, because it is as far as 15 kilometers from Chaweng beach, where most foreign visitors stay.

Today, according to Pol. Maj. Gen. Thesa, the problem is solved, as local police have established substations in the subdistricts of Tambon Bo Phut and Tambon Maret, which are closer to Chaweng beach and its many hotels and bungalows. The new facilities promise swift contact between residents and police and closer supervision of the situation in the tourist community.

To further boost security for people on Koh Samui, the islands police force has risen from 200 to 300 officers. The officers carry out anti-drug campaigns, work on improving traffic and directional signs, and publicize traffic rules among tourists. They provide foreign visitors with training on motorcycle traffic rules; the island has been plagued with motorcycle accidents, as many foreign visitors on motorcycles are not familiar with Thailands left-handed traffic. The campaigns, training, and signs are intended to improve safety for the visitors and the public in general.

As for the whole province, Surat Thanis police have improved and streamlined their overall services for local people and tourists who visit the many places of interest in the province. Police apply new technologies to facilitate their duties, including fast investigation and up-to-date data management, covering information on personnel and locations and statistics involving criminal cases. In addition, local police regularly undergo training sessions on laws and ethics, and more patrols are deployed in tourist-crowded areas such as popular beaches and business streets. To ensure their efficiency, local police are appraised every six months.

Police in Surat Thani province keep improving their services proactively, especially services for visitors. Every police station has streamlined its complaint reception process and deploys enough officers to receive cases. Besides, the provincial police force has regular English-language training for its officers, has its officers publicize safety precautions among tourists, and deploys mobile police units to serve tourists in remote areas. All these actions are intended to make life and property secure for all the people who visit Surat Thani province, especially those who stay on Koh Samui.

Thanks to the preparedness of police in Surat Thani, tourists who travel to the province and to Koh Samui can enjoy their stay in natural and peaceful surroundings and have a memorable experience they will treasure for years.

Story: Tasa
Photos: Apichai Suananantapoom

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