Tourist violence


Dear Editor,

I am dismayed to read of yet another case of extreme violence perpetrated against tourist and local people by mindless drunken thugs, in this case involving two knife wielding Irishmen. This sickness of getting drunk and then spoiling for a fight is spreading everywhere in Europe and particularly I am ashamed to say in my previous home country England. It is now considered unwise to be out on a Friday night in any provincial town in the UK as drunkenness takes over after 11 o’clock with the possibility of violence ever prevalent. Most worrying is that the violence is no longer of the fisticuff, but of knives.

These two guys, in a typically cowardly fashion, try to excuse themselves by putting the blame on nearby taxi drivers attacking them and that they were simply only exercising self defence. Anyone who knows Pattaya and drinks in local bars knows that taxi boys only come into the equation when all avenues of settlement with a drunken situation have been explored.

They had scared two bar girls half to death before coming back to the bar to demand their money back, which they got.

It appears they then left only to return to the bar to create mayhem leaving four people stabbed. This is inexcusable whatever way it is viewed. I hope they are unable to buy their way out, are charged with attempted murder and are subjected to the full penalty that such an offence demands.

When I first came to Pattaya in 78 and onwards till about 2000 everyone had a healthy respect for the police and an almost mythical fear of ever being locked up. Somewhere along the way someone convinced the embryonic tourist police to “go easy” on tourists. Yes, it is not healthy that tourists should be scared of the police and they should feel that the police are simply there to help them. However, it now appears that this line has led to a position where there is little respect for the tourist police and that any fear of them no longer exists. In my opinion this position has not been helped much by the recruitment of foreign police volunteers who seem to offer nothing more than an image of “poseur” with dubious motives.

I implore the local police to come down hard on drunkenness that is coupled with violent or unsocial behaviour particularly when it involves small gangs. A night in a Thai gaol usually does the trick and if pounced on quickly saves people from being injured or killed.