Bangkok Governor tightens measures to protect public

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BANGKOK, Feb 27 – Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra assigned city law enforcement officials to tighten security measures and provide greater support to police to ensure the safety of residents of the capital and those in and near protest areas.

The governor presided over a ceremony to provide moral support to municipal workers on duty at City Hall under the “safety city” policy. Almost 1,000 municipality employees attended the event.

Mr Sukhumbhand said the number of police personnel is insufficient as many of them have been assigned to duty at protest sites. Unlike most major cities worldwide, municipal authorities in Bangkok do not have

authority over the police, as that is a function of the national government. In consequence city law enforcement personnel do not have the same authority as regular police, but are still recruited and assigned to support police in maintaining law and order.

Bangkok’s City Law Enforcement Department and local municipality police in 50 Bangkok districts work together to direct the flow of traffic in 423 locations during rush hours around protest areas and district offices as well as to provide patrol personnel for safety at 981 at-risk sites around Bangkok.

Meanwhile, Amorn Kitchawengkul, Deputy Bangkok Governor, said closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras did not record the images of gunmen who fired an M79 grenade at the Big C Supercentre, Ratchadamri,

on Sunday but only caught images from the corners of high-rise buildings. The photos have been sent to police for further analysis and are awaiting results.

City Hall admitted to having problems with surveillance cameras in many areas, particularly at protest sites. Some ill-intentioned people used plastic bags to cover the cameras, while others cut their electric wires.

Mr Amorn said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is trying to fix the cameras for the safety of the public.