Police Lieutenant General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn visited Pattaya this afternoon (September 15th) to follow up on the ‘Smart Safety Zone 4.0’ project.
The meeting was held at the Pattaya City Police Station before Big Joke, along with a significant police escort, visited local beaches, and toured Pattaya. Big Joke’s nickname, which he embraces, comes from his ability to set people at ease and make people relax, even those he has arrested, according to those close to him. Big Joke, previously the Immigration Bureau Chief and well-known in Thailand for his stances, especially on foreigners who were on overstay, is now a top-level (Level 9) advisor to the National Police Chief Suwat Jangyodsuk and arguably one of the most important-and powerful-police officers in Thailand.
Lieutenant General Surachate told The Pattaya News, “This is a national project which is developing systems in preventing crimes in ‘Smart Cities’. Pattaya is one of those cities, chosen due to its importance to tourism with almost 10 million tourists in 2019 and as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor project. We expect that as borders reopen and tourists return, some criminals may want to take advantage of the situation and foreign visitors. We intend to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
“The idea of the project is mainly focused on protecting people by using innovations, technology, and electronic strategies to prevent crimes.” Big Joke stated.
“The safety zone for the Pattaya area is centered at Jomtien Beach and the surrounding area of a 9.97 kilometers radius.” Big Joke continued.
The innovations, technology, and strategies that the Pattaya City Police use for the project are, according to Big Joke (Some of these have previously been in place, but all of them come together as part of Smart Safety Zone 4.0):
- Control Command Operations Center: CCOC (Operations Control) with 190 CCTV cameras. CCTV cameras throughout Pattaya and Jomtien have been recently repaired and upgraded to ensure the program works.
- Emergency report system (SOS poles) on Jomtien Beach. These are new and by pressing the red button on a pole they will “summon” a police officer to assist someone in need.
- Line Official Account: ‘Pattaya Police’. This will provide regular updates as to what is happening in Pattaya in terms of law enforcement.
- Line group for banks and gold shops reporting. This group will help banks and gold shops be on the same page and quickly communicate in case of robberies or holdups.
- Line group for communities and areas, such as Walking Street. This will allow local business owners to quickly communicate with police and be able to ask questions and get answers.
- Facebook page: ‘สภ.เมืองพัทยา’. This is the official Pattaya Police Facebook.
- Application: Police lert U. A mobile application warning users of problems, traffic, weather, etc.
- Application Police 4.0. Another application for police assistance and information.
- Application Crimes Online. A filing application for reports and problems.
- Develop local communities in terms of community watch programs to help police in areas without significant coverage and patrols.
- Working with people by connecting CCTV cameras to witnesses and victims for incident reports, to help identify suspects and solve crimes faster.
- Using police drones for patrolling and responding to urgent crimes.
Big Joke overall appeared to be pleased with his visit to Pattaya and also spent time greeting and speaking to residents and foreigners while touring local beaches. The Smart Safety Zone 4.0 program has already begun but is expected to become even more of a focus as Pattaya plans to reopen to foreign vaccinated tourists as early as next month.