Thailand will increase its tourist police force with 825 new officers – almost double the amount currently employed.
The Government has 900 cops around the country with the special role of helping tourists deal with crime.
But there are 15 million visitors every year – and the number of tourist police needs to increase to cope with them all.
In a bid to tackle crime and encourage return visitors, the numbers of tourist police will now reach 1,725 in total.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Surachet Hakpan, chief of Tourist Police, said that new officers will be handpicked for the role.
There will be a mixture of officers who can speak Chinese, French, or English. And they’ll understand the police procedure, he added.
It is hoped that the increased tourist police will boost the country’s image and improve its reputation for safety.
Details of the plan for more tourist police are still being worked on. The extra tourist police are likely to be stationed in the busiest resorts, such as Pattaya, Phuket, Krabi and Bangkok.
More tourist police are desperately needed
It’s not clear when the new officers will be employed.
There’s no doubt that increasing the number of tourist police available is a positive for the country. And with the numbers of tourists set to increase even more in 2017, more police are desperately needed.
But there’s two ways to look at it. Has crime increased so much that the extra police are needed?
Or is this a proactive step from the Thai government in order to prevent crime and deal better with the current amount of incidents that are reported?