Sunday, February 12, 2012

Phuket: Three Swedish Tourists Threatened with Knife, Robbed

Four assailants traveling on two motorcycles pulled up alongside three young Swedish tourists who were walking on a beach footpath at 0100 hours on Saturday (February 11), just outside the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa at Karon Beach, and threatened them with a knife, robbing them of cash and valuables. Items stolen included 3,700 baht (US$117), an iPhone and a camera.

COMMENT: Like Pattaya, Phuket is developing a reputation better known for fatal accidents amongst foreigners and crimes of opportunity than for a great getaway in the sun.

Much of this calamity occurs because of five factors: (1) Inadequate traffic enforcement; (2) poorly maintained roadways; (3) a police presence that is more reactive than proactive (i.e., waiting for crime to occur); (4) the unavailability of safe transportation for visitors; and (5) the use of surveillance cameras in high crime areas is grossly deficient.

Both in Pattaya and Phuket, the population density contributes to criminal opportunities, yet the police are not tactically deployed to prevent crime before it occurs. Additionally, criminals are not punished sufficiently to deter recidivism.

The three Swedish women who were robbed were simply walking on a beach footpath that unfortunately, was a flash-point for local crime in the past.

In May 2010, a Russian woman was robbed at Karon Beach, just a few days after Swedish tourist Emelia Andersson, 22, was stabbed on the first day of her holiday by a snatch-and-grab criminal while walking along the Karon Beach footpath.

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