Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Our story this week about violent crime in Phuket set off a lively, multi-sided discussion in the Gazette readers forum, with several contributors pondering the relationship between police statistics and the actual situation on the ground.

Dismissing the report as irrelevant, some pointed to the astonishing number of reported cases of prostitution: 1,692 in the whole province for the entirety of fiscal 2010.

It goes without saying that 1,692 acts of prostitution would probably constitute a pretty slow single night's performance in Patong alone.

The ability to misrepresent or otherwise “spin” statistics for various purposes is well known.

It's a particularly big problem in the Thai media, not only because of sensationalist tendencies but also because many people in that segment of the industry lack basic numeracy. It is common, for example, to hear some of our leaders making nonsensical statements like, “I am 1,000% sure”, and "...decreased 117%".

At the Gazette, we feel it important to report official statistics in the same way they are presented to us by the government agencies that produce them, letting readers decide for themselves what they mean, if anything.

Statistical analysis can be a very powerful tool, but only when properly applied. To be meaningful, the figures need to be taken at face value, and the context in which they were collected, well understood.

Some readers have been inclined to assume that a “25.2% rise in the number of prostitution cases reported” indicates a surge in the popularity of mankind’s oldest profession. Such is not necessarily the case. It is probably a better indicator of the number of brothels that failed to pay their dues for immunity.

It is also important to remember that government statistics in Thailand are, in large part, collected for internal purposes – not as grist for the media mill. This is why arrest rates figure so prominently in crime statistics, for example.

As for the recurring increases in reports of violent crime, here, too, background factors need to be taken into account. For example, the increase in cases of premeditated murder, from 38 to 45 over the past two fiscal years, represents a percentage increase of 18.4%. This has to be considered in light of the island’s swelling population.

Finally, some readers have charged the Phuket Gazette with irresponsibility for publishing crime statistics that could damage tourism. To this we would suggest that the bulk of our readers are educated, do have access to the Internet, and are more than entitled to be aware of matters that might affect them.
– Phuket Gazette

1

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome October 31, 2010 01:05:08PM

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2

It's funny how the prostitution stats always seem to garner the most comment. It's the least offensive of all the crimes and it's not known as the world's oldest profession for nothing. Some people steal to get the cash to pay for it though, so maybe it IS the root of all evil! Personally, I'm more concerned about the rise in violent crime. As for damaging tourism, we are encouraging education on the wearing of helmets and obeying red flags on beaches, so why not crime awareness?

Posted by Mister Ree October 31, 2010 01:29:24PM

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3

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

According to your comment, we should thank the prostitution and girly bars as the main factors to bring tourists to Phuket and Thailand so far. So the Thai administration should legalize child prostitution and drugs and make Thailand a free sanctuary for all criminals from all around the world.

Posted by Whistle-Blower October 31, 2010 02:19:27PM

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4

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

I agree. One miwiam percent.

Posted by Nick October 31, 2010 04:59:21PM

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5

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith October 31, 2010 05:27:53PM

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6

Well written; keep showing teeth as far as possible.

What about some in depth background reporting on subjects that worry foreign consuls and local businessmen most?

Posted by Hotel owner in Patong October 31, 2010 07:37:51PM

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7

I agree and I do think that this publication does an adequate job in reporting the superficial news.

However there is very little follow up and practically no in depth reporting especially after the fact.

Posted by Solo October 31, 2010 10:54:21PM

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8

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

According to your comment, we should thank the prostitution and girly bars as the main factors to bring tourists to Phuket and Thailand so far. So the Thai administration should legalize child prostitution and drugs and make Thailand a free sanctuary for all criminals from all around the world.

Posted by Whistle-Blower

You need to re-read agogo's comment!
Where does he mention child prostitution, drugs or criminals?

What he says is correct. The only thing here in the 80's were hookers, bars and single men!

Posted by Antz Pantz November 1, 2010 06:16:30AM

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9

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith

Agogo is not talking about the last 10 years.There is no doubt that the bars and the bargirls were at the infancy of Phukets tourism.

And what are "all the natural attractions" you speak of? A couple of lame waterfalls and some very average beaches? Or is it the more recent natural attractions like flooded roads, mudslides and ladyboys?

Posted by Antz Pantz November 1, 2010 06:41:01AM

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11

As a 3 time visitor to Phuket I can say you guys are missing the big picture here. The bis issue is the violent crimes like murders, rapes, muggings assaults etc.

If you are worried about tourism and safety clean these up or else you will have no tourism in a few years because word of mouth is the best advertising and already the word on Phuket is beginning to be that it is becoming an unsafe place to visit.

The bars, girls, beaches and scenery are not the real problem!

Posted by Richo November 1, 2010 09:44:02AM

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13

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

According to your comment, we should thank the prostitution and girly bars as the main factors to bring tourists to Phuket and Thailand so far. So the Thai administration should legalize child prostitution and drugs and make Thailand a free sanctuary for all criminals from all around the world.

Posted by Whistle-Blower

You need to re-read agogo's comment!
Where does he mention child prostitution, drugs or criminals?

What he says is correct. The only thing here in the 80's were hookers, bars and single men!

Posted by Antz Pantz

Read between the lines if you want to understand my sentence. As one said, it is the prostitution and girly bars which brought a lot of tourist to Phuket; so, I said, if we want to increase more tourists and foreigners in Phuket we should legalize prostitution, drugs and casinos.

Bad things attract more people than good things.

Posted by Whistle-Blower November 1, 2010 10:15:18AM

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14

As a 3 time visitor to Phuket I can say you guys are missing the big picture here. The bis issue is the violent crimes like murders, rapes, muggings assaults etc.

If you are worried about tourism and safety clean these up or else you will have no tourism in a few years because word of mouth is the best advertising and already the word on Phuket is beginning to be that it is becoming an unsafe place to visit.

The bars, girls, beaches and scenery are not the real problem!

Posted by Richo

I think that it would also be best to also include in statistics of violent crimes the nationalities/citizenship/residences of those not living in Phuket as well.

How many tourists are the victims of these crimes? This is the really important information that we need.

If Thais are killing Thais and expats are killing whomever, these are not indicators of tourist safety.

Posted by Anyse November 1, 2010 11:22:12AM

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15

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith

Agogo is not talking about the last 10 years.There is no doubt that the bars and the bargirls were at the infancy of Phukets tourism.

And what are "all the natural attractions" you speak of? A couple of lame waterfalls and some very average beaches? Or is it the more recent natural attractions like flooded roads, mudslides and ladyboys?

Posted by Antz Pantz

Antz, what are you doing here if you think Phuket is such a terrible place?

If you were able to leave the bars and take a trip around this island you would see many beautiful places.And what is this nonsense about child prostitution?

Posted by Hotel owner in Patong November 1, 2010 02:46:06PM

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16

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith

Agogo is not talking about the last 10 years.There is no doubt that the bars and the bargirls were at the infancy of Phukets tourism.

And what are "all the natural attractions" you speak of? A couple of lame waterfalls and some very average beaches? Or is it the more recent natural attractions like flooded roads, mudslides and ladyboys?

Posted by Antz Pantz

Yes Antz, clearly I am referring to the mudslides and ladyboys when I speak of Phuket's natural attractions.

If wherever you come from is so naturally attractive, so as to compare Phuket's natural attractions to lame waterfalls and flooded roads, then why bother?

I have lots of reasons for living here, please share with us why you come/stay/live? Thai folk are included in my opinion of the natural attractions by the way.
I don't care to list the rest for you, if you are unaware, so be it.

Posted by geoff smith November 1, 2010 04:35:05PM

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17

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith

Agogo is not talking about the last 10 years.There is no doubt that the bars and the bargirls were at the infancy of Phukets tourism.

And what are "all the natural attractions" you speak of? A couple of lame waterfalls and some very average beaches? Or is it the more recent natural attractions like flooded roads, mudslides and ladyboys?

Posted by Antz Pantz

Yes Antz, clearly I am referring to the mudslides and ladyboys when I speak of Phuket's natural attractions.

If wherever you come from is so naturally attractive, so as to compare Phuket's natural attractions to lame waterfalls and flooded roads, then why bother?

I have lots of reasons for living here, please share with us why you come/stay/live? Thai folk are included in my opinion of the natural attractions by the way.
I don't care to list the rest for you, if you are unaware, so be it.

Posted by geoff smith

After returning from Thailand/Cambodia the first time, I was accosted with the looks of doubt on the faces of some and shock of others when I told them I do/did not frequent the go-go bars or say "yes" when asked if I wanted more from my massage.

Sadly, some, especially from my country have neatly pigeon-holed this beautiful place.

Still, I think Antz Pantz was merely trying to state what the ORIGINAL attraction here was. As I was not here in the 80's, I will shut my mouth.

Posted by tonglen November 1, 2010 08:47:24PM

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17

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith

Agogo is not talking about the last 10 years.There is no doubt that the bars and the bargirls were at the infancy of Phukets tourism.

And what are "all the natural attractions" you speak of? A couple of lame waterfalls and some very average beaches? Or is it the more recent natural attractions like flooded roads, mudslides and ladyboys?

Posted by Antz Pantz

Yes Antz, clearly I am referring to the mudslides and ladyboys when I speak of Phuket's natural attractions.

If wherever you come from is so naturally attractive, so as to compare Phuket's natural attractions to lame waterfalls and flooded roads, then why bother?

I have lots of reasons for living here, please share with us why you come/stay/live? Thai folk are included in my opinion of the natural attractions by the way.
I don't care to list the rest for you, if you are unaware, so be it.

Posted by geoff smith

After returning from Thailand/Cambodia the first time, I was accosted with the looks of doubt on the faces of some and shock of others when I told them I do/did not frequent the go-go bars or say "yes" when asked if I wanted more from my massage.

Sadly, some, especially from my country have neatly pigeon-holed this beautiful place.

Still, I think Antz Pantz was merely trying to state what the ORIGINAL attraction here was. As I was not here in the 80's, I will shut my mouth.

Posted by tonglen November 1, 2010 08:47:24PM

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16

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith

Agogo is not talking about the last 10 years.There is no doubt that the bars and the bargirls were at the infancy of Phukets tourism.

And what are "all the natural attractions" you speak of? A couple of lame waterfalls and some very average beaches? Or is it the more recent natural attractions like flooded roads, mudslides and ladyboys?

Posted by Antz Pantz

Yes Antz, clearly I am referring to the mudslides and ladyboys when I speak of Phuket's natural attractions.

If wherever you come from is so naturally attractive, so as to compare Phuket's natural attractions to lame waterfalls and flooded roads, then why bother?

I have lots of reasons for living here, please share with us why you come/stay/live? Thai folk are included in my opinion of the natural attractions by the way.
I don't care to list the rest for you, if you are unaware, so be it.

Posted by geoff smith November 1, 2010 04:35:05PM

Reply

0    0

15

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith

Agogo is not talking about the last 10 years.There is no doubt that the bars and the bargirls were at the infancy of Phukets tourism.

And what are "all the natural attractions" you speak of? A couple of lame waterfalls and some very average beaches? Or is it the more recent natural attractions like flooded roads, mudslides and ladyboys?

Posted by Antz Pantz

Antz, what are you doing here if you think Phuket is such a terrible place?

If you were able to leave the bars and take a trip around this island you would see many beautiful places.And what is this nonsense about child prostitution?

Posted by Hotel owner in Patong November 1, 2010 02:46:06PM

Reply

0    0

14

As a 3 time visitor to Phuket I can say you guys are missing the big picture here. The bis issue is the violent crimes like murders, rapes, muggings assaults etc.

If you are worried about tourism and safety clean these up or else you will have no tourism in a few years because word of mouth is the best advertising and already the word on Phuket is beginning to be that it is becoming an unsafe place to visit.

The bars, girls, beaches and scenery are not the real problem!

Posted by Richo

I think that it would also be best to also include in statistics of violent crimes the nationalities/citizenship/residences of those not living in Phuket as well.

How many tourists are the victims of these crimes? This is the really important information that we need.

If Thais are killing Thais and expats are killing whomever, these are not indicators of tourist safety.

Posted by Anyse November 1, 2010 11:22:12AM

Reply

0    0

13

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

According to your comment, we should thank the prostitution and girly bars as the main factors to bring tourists to Phuket and Thailand so far. So the Thai administration should legalize child prostitution and drugs and make Thailand a free sanctuary for all criminals from all around the world.

Posted by Whistle-Blower

You need to re-read agogo's comment!
Where does he mention child prostitution, drugs or criminals?

What he says is correct. The only thing here in the 80's were hookers, bars and single men!

Posted by Antz Pantz

Read between the lines if you want to understand my sentence. As one said, it is the prostitution and girly bars which brought a lot of tourist to Phuket; so, I said, if we want to increase more tourists and foreigners in Phuket we should legalize prostitution, drugs and casinos.

Bad things attract more people than good things.

Posted by Whistle-Blower November 1, 2010 10:15:18AM

Reply

0    0

11

As a 3 time visitor to Phuket I can say you guys are missing the big picture here. The bis issue is the violent crimes like murders, rapes, muggings assaults etc.

If you are worried about tourism and safety clean these up or else you will have no tourism in a few years because word of mouth is the best advertising and already the word on Phuket is beginning to be that it is becoming an unsafe place to visit.

The bars, girls, beaches and scenery are not the real problem!

Posted by Richo November 1, 2010 09:44:02AM

Reply

0    0

9

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith

Agogo is not talking about the last 10 years.There is no doubt that the bars and the bargirls were at the infancy of Phukets tourism.

And what are "all the natural attractions" you speak of? A couple of lame waterfalls and some very average beaches? Or is it the more recent natural attractions like flooded roads, mudslides and ladyboys?

Posted by Antz Pantz November 1, 2010 06:41:01AM

Reply

0    0

8

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

According to your comment, we should thank the prostitution and girly bars as the main factors to bring tourists to Phuket and Thailand so far. So the Thai administration should legalize child prostitution and drugs and make Thailand a free sanctuary for all criminals from all around the world.

Posted by Whistle-Blower

You need to re-read agogo's comment!
Where does he mention child prostitution, drugs or criminals?

What he says is correct. The only thing here in the 80's were hookers, bars and single men!

Posted by Antz Pantz November 1, 2010 06:16:30AM

Reply

0    0

7

I agree and I do think that this publication does an adequate job in reporting the superficial news.

However there is very little follow up and practically no in depth reporting especially after the fact.

Posted by Solo October 31, 2010 10:54:21PM

Reply

0    0

6

Well written; keep showing teeth as far as possible.

What about some in depth background reporting on subjects that worry foreign consuls and local businessmen most?

Posted by Hotel owner in Patong October 31, 2010 07:37:51PM

Reply

0    0

5

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

Agogo, this is nonsense. Bars and hookers attracted the first visitors many years ago, and kept them coming back, but you cannot claim that Phuket, with all its natural attractions, would still be a sleepy backwater without a rampant flesh trade. I would argue that most of the growth in the tourism sector in Phuket in the last 10 years has been quite independent of the flesh trade. Better quality hotels, bars and restaurants would support this. The proportion of families and women visitors, too.

Posted by geoff smith October 31, 2010 05:27:53PM

Reply

0    0

4

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

I agree. One miwiam percent.

Posted by Nick October 31, 2010 04:59:21PM

Reply

0    0

3

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome

According to your comment, we should thank the prostitution and girly bars as the main factors to bring tourists to Phuket and Thailand so far. So the Thai administration should legalize child prostitution and drugs and make Thailand a free sanctuary for all criminals from all around the world.

Posted by Whistle-Blower October 31, 2010 02:19:27PM

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0    0

2

It's funny how the prostitution stats always seem to garner the most comment. It's the least offensive of all the crimes and it's not known as the world's oldest profession for nothing. Some people steal to get the cash to pay for it though, so maybe it IS the root of all evil! Personally, I'm more concerned about the rise in violent crime. As for damaging tourism, we are encouraging education on the wearing of helmets and obeying red flags on beaches, so why not crime awareness?

Posted by Mister Ree October 31, 2010 01:29:24PM

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0    0

1

Right or wrong, lets not forget that had it not been for bar beers and prostitutes many years ago, Phuket would never have become a tourist destination.

Posted by agogohome October 31, 2010 01:05:08PM

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0    0

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