SRT to step up security on trains

Security will be increased on trains in the wake of the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl passenger on Sunday morning on an overnight train from Surat Thani to Bangkok.

SRT governor Prapas Chongsanguan said he would ask the Royal Thai Police Office to increase the  number of railway police to better ensure the safety of passengers and crime prevention.

The SRT was also short-staffed because it had cancelled recruitment of new personnel as directed by a cabinet resolution of 1995. This was partly to blame for the lax security on trains.

Mr Prapas said security on trains would be stepped up, particularly for sleeping coaches.

He would also propose a ban on the sale of alcohol on trains.  Passengers found drinking on a train would be asked to get off.

Closed-circuit television cameras would be installed on new train coaches.  The old coaches mostly have a problem with the power system and he was exploring ways of solving this problems, Mr Prapas said.

The murder of the 13-year-old girl was a severe blow to the railway. It would lead to a revamp of the service to restore passengers' confidence and impove the SRT's already poor image, Mr Prapas said.

The SRT would provide full assistance to the family of the victim.  It will also look into reviewing the contract with the company whose employee committed the shocking crime, Mr Prapas said.

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