11 Jun 2012
The arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, when nationals of the ASEAN bloc will be able to travel and work in Thailand more or less without hindrance, will encourage more crime, a senior policeman has warned.
The warning came from the commander of the Thai Tourist Police division, Pol Maj Gen Adis Ngamchitsuksri, who added that Phuket and Pattaya were likely to be targets for the new wave of criminals.
He added that he believed tourism-related crime and complaints would be complicated by new laws, and the numbers of Tourist Police would need to almost doubled, from the current number of 987 officers nationwide to 1,759.
Gen Adis said that lowering immigration barriers meant that “tourists” were more likely to engage in illegal activities.
The superintendent of Phuket Tourist Police, Pol Capt Uramporn Koondejsumrit, said that 27 officers are currently stationed on the island.
He agreed with the Gen Adis that a boost in manpower will be needed. “We will need more officers because people will be able to cross borders more easily after 2015, resulting in an increase in the crime rate in Phuket,” he said.