Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Finally the DNA tests for the three baby elephants seized in Phuket in February are being released, with one toddler being returned to its natural mother, another being returned to the tour park operator (as the elephant was actually deemed legal), and the third yet to be determined.

This 'dance of the baby elephants' stands in stark contrast to the constant resurfacing of slow loris touts on Soi Bangla, where they can regularly be found despite the occasional arrest.

The baby elephants were seized without a shred of evidence that they were illegal; suspicion alone was enough. So why don’t police arrest the repeat-offender touts when they are already familiar with the faces of the offenders and the animals involved?

The answer to this lies in the bureaucratic hoops that well-intentioned officers must jump through – and good officers in Thailand love doing things “by the book”.

Police openly admit they need an “expert” officer present to identify the animals used by the touts as true members of a protected species. Also, the head of the conservation unit at the Khao Phra Taew Wildlife Reserve has to apply to Patong Police weeks in advance for permission to lead a raid on Bangla.

But the average citizen doesn’t know this, and most don’t care when it comes to flagrant disregard for the law, and that includes Phuket tourists of all nationalities, long-term expats and local Thais. Without such information being clearly, publicly disclosed, the public is left to its own devices in coming up with a reason for inaction.

Add to this the daily 'in-your-face' disrespect for nearly every law or regulation that can be witnessed on the streets of Phuket, and it becomes little wonder that the public generally arrive at the same conclusion time and again – that the police don’t care.

This is where the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s mantra of preserving Phuket’s reputation among tourists, and their confidence in their personal safety, genuinely kicks in. Krabi Tourism Association president Ittirit Kinglek deserves support in bringing to the attention of the Krabi Police the public’s perception of the handling of the rape case of a Dutch tourist.

The silence from police prompted a backlash; incited an angry father to post his “Evil man from Krabi” video on YouTube, where it has now gone viral; and resulted in many room booking cancellations. They had damaged their precious tourism-based economy and they had brought it on themselves.

As the Krabi TAT office pointed out, police often need assistance in getting clear, accurate information out to the public. The Gazette understands this from interacting with the police on a daily basis. Ambiguity and omissions, intentional or otherwise, don’t work.

Like any other organization that has a vested interest in the commercial success of Phuket and its neighboring provinces, the TAT may wish to put its own 'spin' on the information it releases. But it cannot be allowed to suppress, omit or otherwise alter facts.

So if the intent of the TAT in Krabi is to use its considerable network of resources to deliver clear information when such is absent, as in the recent rape case, then much will have been gained by the public – and everyone wins.
– Phuket Gazette

1

New York City was sinking in lawlessness. Then the authorities began enforcing all laws, starting with landlords forced to keep properties in repair, referred to as the broken windows theory. Don't enforce the small laws, and the more important laws will be ignored as well. Once criminals see that ALL laws are enforced, they have second thoughts on serious crime. It worked, too. Phuket, start with traffic laws, please.

Posted by Christy Sweet November 18, 2012 10:03:29AM

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2

"New York City was sinking in lawlessness. Then the authorities began enforcing all laws" Looks like most of the authorities didn't generate income from this lawlessness. So why do you think, that this would ever happen on Phuket?

Posted by 24/7 November 18, 2012 11:11:57AM

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3

Actually, not so long ago, the New York police department was rife with corruption. This changed when police was placed under a civilian oversight committee and scores of policemen were fired, convicted and imprisoned.

To this day, officers accused of misconduct face the strong possibility of answering to this civilian board.

Alas, the prospects of this ever happening in Thailand are very dim indeed.

Posted by topcat_hkt November 18, 2012 02:18:38PM

Reply

0    0

4

Actually, not so long ago, the New York police department was rife with corruption. This changed when police was placed under a civilian oversight committee and scores of policemen were fired, convicted and imprisoned.

To this day, officers accused of misconduct face the strong possibility of answering to this civilian board.

Alas, the prospects of this ever happening in Thailand are very dim indeed.

Posted by topcat_hkt

"...the prospects of this ever happening in Thailand are very dim indeed." But for Thailand, there is a chance. On Phuket, it is much less than a chance!

Posted by 24/7 November 18, 2012 05:30:44PM

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0    0

6

If a huge billboard were placed informing the tourists that it is illegal, fewer would likely do it. I know the Aussie Bar at the end of Bangla actively advertises its illegality on their TV screens. If they can do it, why can't the Police/OrBorTor/Whoever is in Charge do it???

Posted by Tbs November 19, 2012 12:18:26AM

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0    0

7

New York City was sinking in lawlessness. Then the authorities began enforcing all laws, starting with landlords forced to keep properties in repair, referred to as the broken windows theory. Don't enforce the small laws, and the more important laws will be ignored as well. Once criminals see that ALL laws are enforced, they have second thoughts on serious crime. It worked, too. Phuket, start with traffic laws, please.

Posted by Christy Sweet

I actually do not understand what this has to do with New York!

Posted by Martin November 19, 2012 09:00:52AM

Reply

0    0

8

New York City was sinking in lawlessness. Then the authorities began enforcing all laws, starting with landlords forced to keep properties in repair, referred to as the broken windows theory. Don't enforce the small laws, and the more important laws will be ignored as well. Once criminals see that ALL laws are enforced, they have second thoughts on serious crime. It worked, too. Phuket, start with traffic laws, please.

Posted by Christy Sweet

I actually do not understand what this has to do with New York!

Posted by Martin

It's quite relevant, actually, Martin. New York decided it didn't WANT the crime anymore, so they fired 230 cops, warned about 4,000 others and then watched them like a hawk. Problem solved. The point is that if that could be accomplished in a city of 8.5 million people, it could of course be done quite easily on an island of a few hundred thousand. Christy is telling you that it's about WILL, not ignorance, ineptitude, or inability.

Posted by Insufferable November 19, 2012 09:17:57AM

Reply

0    0

9

If a huge billboard were placed informing the tourists that it is illegal, fewer would likely do it. I know the Aussie Bar at the end of Bangla actively advertises its illegality on their TV screens. If they can do it, why can't the Police/OrBorTor/Whoever is in Charge do it???

Posted by Tbs

Well, it sure would need to be huge to cover all the subjects in the story.

Posted by Big Bernie November 19, 2012 10:19:54PM

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10

I cordially challenge the Phuket Gazette to come with me undercover for 2 nights with a small camera and photograph all the slow loris touts and publish them in the Gazette, printing thier photos and handing them to the Khaow Phra Taew conservation heads and the local Police in Patong. They have my email address. Exposure to media is the only way to stop it.

Posted by skip November 20, 2012 09:16:15AM

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0    0

10

I cordially challenge the Phuket Gazette to come with me undercover for 2 nights with a small camera and photograph all the slow loris touts and publish them in the Gazette, printing thier photos and handing them to the Khaow Phra Taew conservation heads and the local Police in Patong. They have my email address. Exposure to media is the only way to stop it.

Posted by skip November 20, 2012 09:16:15AM

Reply

0    0

9

If a huge billboard were placed informing the tourists that it is illegal, fewer would likely do it. I know the Aussie Bar at the end of Bangla actively advertises its illegality on their TV screens. If they can do it, why can't the Police/OrBorTor/Whoever is in Charge do it???

Posted by Tbs

Well, it sure would need to be huge to cover all the subjects in the story.

Posted by Big Bernie November 19, 2012 10:19:54PM

Reply

0    0

8

New York City was sinking in lawlessness. Then the authorities began enforcing all laws, starting with landlords forced to keep properties in repair, referred to as the broken windows theory. Don't enforce the small laws, and the more important laws will be ignored as well. Once criminals see that ALL laws are enforced, they have second thoughts on serious crime. It worked, too. Phuket, start with traffic laws, please.

Posted by Christy Sweet

I actually do not understand what this has to do with New York!

Posted by Martin

It's quite relevant, actually, Martin. New York decided it didn't WANT the crime anymore, so they fired 230 cops, warned about 4,000 others and then watched them like a hawk. Problem solved. The point is that if that could be accomplished in a city of 8.5 million people, it could of course be done quite easily on an island of a few hundred thousand. Christy is telling you that it's about WILL, not ignorance, ineptitude, or inability.

Posted by Insufferable November 19, 2012 09:17:57AM

Reply

0    0

7

New York City was sinking in lawlessness. Then the authorities began enforcing all laws, starting with landlords forced to keep properties in repair, referred to as the broken windows theory. Don't enforce the small laws, and the more important laws will be ignored as well. Once criminals see that ALL laws are enforced, they have second thoughts on serious crime. It worked, too. Phuket, start with traffic laws, please.

Posted by Christy Sweet

I actually do not understand what this has to do with New York!

Posted by Martin November 19, 2012 09:00:52AM

Reply

0    0

6

If a huge billboard were placed informing the tourists that it is illegal, fewer would likely do it. I know the Aussie Bar at the end of Bangla actively advertises its illegality on their TV screens. If they can do it, why can't the Police/OrBorTor/Whoever is in Charge do it???

Posted by Tbs November 19, 2012 12:18:26AM

Reply

0    0

4

Actually, not so long ago, the New York police department was rife with corruption. This changed when police was placed under a civilian oversight committee and scores of policemen were fired, convicted and imprisoned.

To this day, officers accused of misconduct face the strong possibility of answering to this civilian board.

Alas, the prospects of this ever happening in Thailand are very dim indeed.

Posted by topcat_hkt

"...the prospects of this ever happening in Thailand are very dim indeed." But for Thailand, there is a chance. On Phuket, it is much less than a chance!

Posted by 24/7 November 18, 2012 05:30:44PM

Reply

0    0

3

Actually, not so long ago, the New York police department was rife with corruption. This changed when police was placed under a civilian oversight committee and scores of policemen were fired, convicted and imprisoned.

To this day, officers accused of misconduct face the strong possibility of answering to this civilian board.

Alas, the prospects of this ever happening in Thailand are very dim indeed.

Posted by topcat_hkt November 18, 2012 02:18:38PM

Reply

0    0

2

"New York City was sinking in lawlessness. Then the authorities began enforcing all laws" Looks like most of the authorities didn't generate income from this lawlessness. So why do you think, that this would ever happen on Phuket?

Posted by 24/7 November 18, 2012 11:11:57AM

Reply

0    0

1

New York City was sinking in lawlessness. Then the authorities began enforcing all laws, starting with landlords forced to keep properties in repair, referred to as the broken windows theory. Don't enforce the small laws, and the more important laws will be ignored as well. Once criminals see that ALL laws are enforced, they have second thoughts on serious crime. It worked, too. Phuket, start with traffic laws, please.

Posted by Christy Sweet November 18, 2012 10:03:29AM

Reply

0    0

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