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Police on tourism caution tourists about Thai scams

Suvarnabhumi Airport is launching a data hub to combine data from the tourist police and the police force in an effort to advance their technological capabilities. Additionally, license plate recognition cameras will be installed in patrol vehicles, and officers will wear body cameras. Additionally, they are developing a system to share security footage among 33 tourist police stations. The Thai tourist police are eager to stress out, however, that international tourism in Thailand is mostly risk-free. The great majority of crimes conducted against foreign visitors are committed simply for the purpose of stealing their money. In Bangkok, tuk-tuk and taxi drivers will loiter near tourist attractions and deceive consumers by pretending the attractions are closed. This is done so that drivers can take passengers to expensive souvenir shops that pay them a commission. Others are exploited by jewelry businesses that sell imitation gems and tailors that sell knock-off clothing manufactured from low-quality materials. In Phuket and Koh Samui, the police are warning locals that criminals and drug addicts may commit more direct robberies and violent crimes. And of course, in Pattaya, there is a crime that has been reported so often that it has become a cliche in internet commentary: ladyboys are snatching gold necklaces from Indian tourists, but not invariably. Uncle Spider-Man once observed, “With great tourism comes tremendous conspicuousness.” We may be slightly paraphrasing, but as Thailand once again welcomes international travelers, the tourism police are warning that possibly less-than-welcome fraudsters are also returning to prey on new foreign victims. The commissioner of the Tourist Police Bureau stated that they are deploying additional bicycle, motorbike, and automobile patrols to keep an eye on prominent tourist spots and places frequented by tourists. According to the Bangkok Post, they are coordinating with local police and immigration to alert travelers of suspected fraud. The Tourist Police Bureau has posted warning signs for international passengers arriving at airports and other significant tourist destinations. They also ask passengers who experience difficulties to phone the Emergency Response Centre at 1155. There are operators that are fluent in English, Russian, Indian, Chinese, Arabic, Korean, and Japanese.

Authorities also remind out-of-country travelers of a smart safety app launched last year that allows them to request immediate assistance 24 hours a day. The app formerly known as “Visitor Police I Lert U” will be updated and renamed “Thailand Tourist Police” A news release from earlier this year describes how the app can link a traveler in need with the necessary assistance. The I Lert U program is available in English and Thai and can be downloaded for free from Google Play for Android and the App Store for iOS. The app is connected to the Tourist Police 1155 Emergency Response Centre, where interpreters and translators are available to assist tourists in multiple languages. Tourists requiring assistance at any time 24 hours a day, the software can be used to contact the Tourist Police, who will swiftly dispatch officers to the scene. Additionally, tourists can photograph an incident and upload it via the app to request assistance.”

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