Happy Zone To Be Introduced Into Pattaya
A Crisis meeting was held last week by Pattaya police to address the growing concern over tourist safety in and around the area. The solution to the problem, “Happy Zones”.
The “Happy Zone” idea comes from the national police HQ, and will slowly be introduced into tourist cities across Thailand in the near future. Pattaya will be the first to take a shot at the new concept, which police hope will be a success.
Late last week operators on Walking Street were invited to Pattaya town hall to meet with regional chiefs, local cops, district officials and immigration forces to hear the plans.
With tourist revenue being a key factor for the Thai economy, tourist safety is becoming a big issue, especially with the recent problems involving foreigners, said Somprasong Yenthuam, a Chonburi police spokesman. He said he had been ordered by the national police HQ to stop crime against tourists.
Crime figures in Pattaya are said to be the highest in the country, and the recent press releases in International newspapers do nothing to enhance the image either.
“So we have decided to set up ‘Happy Zones‘”, said Somprasong. “These will be in tourist towns throughout the country but the project will start in Pattaya first”. The project will initially center on Walking Street then will be expanded to 35 different points throughout the resort.
“The key is to have crime prevention measures,” he continued. “We want the operators in the area to be the eyes and ears for the authorities so that we can work together to solve the problem of crime”.
Specifically he asked for all establishments to set up their own CCTV. Each venue and shop is to have their own liaison officer to work closely with police, military and the municipal authority. He also asked for co-operation from business owners themselves and asked them to be vigilant on their own premises.
He further elaborated to say that the problem of drugs needs special attention and he also implored venues in the area not to employ under 20s in the sex trade saying: “Help us out on this – let’s shake hands on this one”.
The Happy Zone project is set to be inaugurated by Region 2 chief Chalermkiat Sriworakhan shortly.