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Police in Phuket’s fun town to enforce 2am bar closing

A major row is brewing in Patong after the town’s police officers were ordered today (August 14) to clamp down on the nightlife industry by enforcing the official 2am closing time.
The order came from Patong’s police chief, Pol Col Jiraphat Pochanapan, possibly stung by strong public criticism from Patong’s nightlife business owners over a “request” that they close during HM the Queen’s Birthday (August 12).

pole dancers in PhuketCol Jiraphat was not prepared to go into depth about the order. “It’s policy,” he told The Phuket News this morning.

“It’s come down from above. I don’t want to damage Patong’s entertainment industry but I have to do this for security reasons. I can’t tell you any more than what is in the laws of Thailand.”

One of his deputies, Pol Lt Col Suthichai Chaiyarat, confirmed the order had been given.

“The Superintendent has given an order, which we must follow, that entertainment businesses must close at 2am. We will have inspection teams go to the [entertainment] areas [to enforce this]. Officers will ask them to close.

“We have to apply the law strictly. Sometimes, we will have soldiers join our action, too.

“I heard there was some misunderstanding between the entertainment business people and the Superintendent. If they are uncomfortable or unhappy, they can come to talk to us at Kathu Police Station.”

A representative of the Patong Entertainment Association, who asked not to be named, told The Phuket News, “I just heard that we have to close our businesses [at 2am] on the command of the Superintendent. When he issued the command he was already in Surat Thani [at the police regional HQ].

“It is unfair. This is a tourism area. We will hold a meeting with our members soon to discuss this issue.”

The order ramps up a row between police and entertainment owners over a “request” from Col Jiraphat that entertainment businesses not serve alcohol on Tuesday, HM the Queen’s Birthday.

Phuket News

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