Pattaya sweeps homeless off Jomtien Beach

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About 40 city officials and security officers swept through Jomtien Beach rounding up vagrants after numerous complaints from frightened tourists.

Two of the homeless people police are rounding up at Jomtien Beach sit in the back of a police pickup on their way to the Provincial Social Welfare Office where they will receive assistance.

Thirteen homeless people were detained by municipal officers and transferred to social welfare agencies for care. Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, who led the Oct. 12 mission, ordered municipal security to begin patrolling Jomtien Beach to keep vagrants at bay and arrest any who commit crimes.

Ronakit and Pattaya City Council member Amnuai Somphongtham also looked at traffic congestion and parking, which is becoming an increasing problem on weekends.

The deputy mayor said the greater concern, however, was safety. He said many tourists believed homeless people to be dangerous and their apprehension was taking a toll on legitimate street vendors, who were also being avoided by tourists. He said vagrants would be transferred first to the Social Welfare Division and then to the Provincial Social Welfare Office for assistance.