Banglamung chief calls for checks of Pattaya’s hundreds of broken CCTVs

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The head of Banglamung District ordered that all of Pattaya’s nearly 1,600 CCTV cameras be checked to ensure they work as the area ramped up security measures following the Bangkok shrine bombing.

At an Aug. 19 meeting with police, military, volunteers, business owners and entertainment venue operators, Chakorn Kanjawattana also called for establishment of a rapid-response unit that can be deployed in case of emergency, increased road checkpoints, additional outdoor lighting and tighter security at popular tourist spots including shopping malls.

(L to R) Banglamung District Chief Chakorn Kanjawattana, Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, Colonel Prasert Jaikla from 14th military circle, and Pattaya Tourist Police Inspector Pol. Maj. Piyapong Ensan, meet with local tourism officials to increase security in light of last week's terrorist attack in Bangkok.(L to R) Banglamung District Chief Chakorn Kanjawattana, Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, Colonel Prasert Jaikla from 14th military circle, and Pattaya Tourist Police Inspector Pol. Maj. Piyapong Ensan, meet with local tourism officials to increase security in light of last week’s terrorist attack in Bangkok.

The check on the 1,591 closed-circuit television cameras, however, has become a top priority as both police and Pattaya City Council members previously indicated that as many as 90 percent of the devices are broken.

While Chakorn called for an inspection to determine how many were in order, Pattaya officials previously said they have no money to actually repair them. Nothing was said at the meeting to indicate that situation has changed.

Pattaya, meanwhile, may have found 60 million baht to buy 200 new CCTV cameras to install at passenger-ferry terminals and on boats.

The Aug. 17 bombing at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong commercial district killed 20 people and injured 123 in what has been called the worst-ever terrorist attack on the country. In the days after, police and military officials ramped up security measures across the capital and in Thailand’s most popular tourist resorts.

Police made a show of force on Walking Street on Aug. 18, running metal detectors up streets connected to the entertainment strip and meeting with business owners to press the need for vigilance. The meeting the next day was intended to re-emphasize that community safety depends not only just police and the military, but private citizens and business owners.

One result will be an increase in already frequent road-stop checkpoints by police and civil defense volunteers. Additional patrols along area beaches, near shopping malls and places where tourists congregate also are planned.

Chakorn said police, military and local government should jointly create a mobile-response unit that can act when an emergency or potentially dangerous situation develops, such as the discovery of a suspicious bomb-like object. With people’s nerves frayed, there were more than a half-dozen false alarms requiring the deployment of a bomb squad in Bangkok between Aug. 18 and 21.

Anyone spotting a suspicious item should keep their distance and call either 191, 038-223-7744 , 038 261585 ext. 19, 24 or 25; or 02-296 1946.