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Safety tips for people in South

As violence escalates in the deep South, with a fresh spate of bombings in Yala, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB)'s police education project has come up with "self-protective measures" for officials and residents in the region.

Bureau commissioner Pol Lt-General Pongpat Chayaphan assigned a CIB project working team, led by Pol Colonel Theeradech Thamsuthee and Pol Lt-Colonel Songrak Khunsri, to study researches about conflict areas around the world. From their research they compiled a list of self-protective measures for southern police and residents in risky areas.

With the main idea being "don't make yourself an easy target", the list of self-protective measures suggests:

l Avoid routines: one should not follow a routine that would make you vulnerable to attacks.

l Vary routes and times to and from work.

l Exercise (like jogging) on different routes/times and don't exercise alone.

l Vary times/places for shopping, lunch, and other appointments.

l Enter/exit buildings through different doors.

l Don't divulge family/personal information to strangers.

l Be prepared for an unexpected event.

l Maintain a low profile.

l Dress/behave in public consistent with local customs. Avoid wearing uniforms, clothing with flags, logos, etc.

l Avoid department-related stickers, decals, logos on luggage, briefcases, shopping bags, etc.

l Unless necessary, don't wear uniforms or military items in public.

l Shun publicity.

l Be alert for surveillance attempts, suspicious persons or activities, and report them to authorities.

l Be alert to, and aware of, changes in the security atmosphere.

Songrak said his group's studies concluded that the battle against terrorism should not aim for victory over the opposition, but should consider first the safety of people living in conflict areas like the deep South of Thailand.

He urged that abnormal situations in a conflict area required special protocols. These self-protective measures had emerged for individuals to apply to their lifestyles and protect themselves, he added.


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