Security boosted to ensure public safety during New Year celebration

Security measures are now being imposed by police and the military to ensure safety for the people as the New Year is approaching. Notably the police will emphasize on traffic safety as people are expected to travel out of the capital back homes to celebrate the long New Year holidays.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan who is also the defense minister stated that the meeting yesterday on internal security matters agreed that security measures will need to be stepped up as the New Year approaches to ensure the greatest degree of safety and minimize losses for the general public.

Police and internal security units will serve as the principal force to handle the enforcement of regulations particularly with regards to traffic laws which they have been granted the authority to seize vehicles of traffic violators such drunk drivers, he said.

The commissioner of the Royal Thai Police has also announced that from December 22 � 31 a crackdown on all criminal activities will be carried out in every territory.

Police officers have been ordered to be particularly vigilant at all locations where large crowds will congregate such as countdown locations as well as other locations where funeral rites have been organized.

Furthermore, a strict monitoring of the entry of all foreign nationals into the country as well as the collection of related intelligence on suspected persons has been ordered to all security personnel posted along the country's borders.

Finally, narcotics units have also been ordered to monitor all drug related activities to prevent traffickers from taking advantage of the festivities to smuggle drugs into the country.

Officially it has also been announced that official countdown celebrations in the capital will only be organized at the Central World Shopping Mall.

As for Sanam Luang field which is another favored location for New Year countdown celebrations in the past, it has been announced that funeral rites for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be performed there during the period as this was still the official national mourning period.

Beside these efforts an official request has also been made to all entertainment venues to strictly adhere to the specified opening and closing times as well as monitoring their client and not allow youths under the age of 18 to enter their facilities.

As for home owners who wish to travel upcountry and have the peace-of-mind of having their homes remain intact they can join the 'Leave Your Home in Police Hands' campaign by applying with their local gendarmerie and police officers will look after their houses from December 25th to January 3rd.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)