Pattaya to spend 60 million baht on 200 more CCTV cameras

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Despite lacking funds to repair the nearly 1,600 closed-circuit security cameras it already has, Pattaya will spend another 60 million baht to install 200 more cameras on passenger ferries and at boat terminals on the mainland and Koh Larn.

The plan to install cameras on 50 boats was discussed at an Aug. 19 meeting led by Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, who said the project was aimed at gaining the trust of boat passengers following a string of sinkings and accidents in recent years.

Project manager Borphit Taveerath said installation can begin in September and would be finished by the start of next year.Project manager Borphit Taveerath said installation can begin in September and would be finished by the start of next year.

Asia Traffic Technology and Service Co. outlined the initiative’s details, installation plan and efficiency of CCTVs to control and observe vessel traffic to prevent accidents and provide safety for passengers.

Four thermal cameras will be installed on the Pattaya side at the lighthouse on a 15-meter pole. Each one will face the sea to cover the entire bay, and each is able to zoom four kilometers with a 24-hour recording time.

The idea is to use the cameras to spot bodies in the water in case of an accident.

Six similar cameras will be mounted on the Koh Larn side, at Samae Beach, the pier, Koh Larn Temple and at the Koh Larn Shooting Range. These cameras can detect heat signatures up to eight kilometers away.

Each of 50 boats will be given two cameras and a radio set. The cameras will monitor both operators and passengers to check, for example, if they are using life jackets, or for capturing the cause of an accident. Information is recorded and sent to a traffic-control center.

Project manager Borphit Taveerath said installation can begin in September and would be finished by the start of next year.

The 60-million-baht project comes as Pattaya is struggling to maintain the 1,591 CCTV cameras it already has. A city councilman said in July that 90 percent of cameras are broken, a figure approximated earlier by police who said they now have to rely on privately owned cameras to get any sort of help in solving crimes. The city has no budget for repairs, the councilman said.

The same day as the marine-camera project was unveiled, Banglamung District Chief Chakorn Kanjawattana called for a check on the city’s CCTV cameras as part of an effort to step up security following the Aug. 17 Bangkok shrine bombing.