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Thursday 14 December 2017

Thai cameras move after murders

Hannah Witheridge was found murdered on a beach on the Thai island of Koh Tao
Hannah Witheridge was found murdered on a beach on the Thai island of Koh Tao
David Miller was found murdered on a beach on the Thai island of Koh Tao

Thailand's government says it will install more surveillance cameras nationwide and better lighting in major tourist areas after the murders of two British tourists on a resort island.

David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found battered to death on a beach on Koh Tao last week.

Deputy prime minister General Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters he has ordered the Interior Ministry, Bangkok's city government and police to install surveillance cameras and improve lighting.

He said authorities are urgently investigating the case, adding that a dditional police and soldiers are being sent to help the murder investigation.

Police yesterday refused to comment on claims they were "close to making an arrest" in connection with the murders.

Detectives were reportedly trying to trace a man who left Koh Tao the day the bodies were discovered.

The man was said to be in the capital Bangkok, and police were reported to believe at least three men were involved in attacking the young Britons.

Mr Miller, from Jersey, and Miss Witheridge, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, were found with severe head wounds on the island's Sairee beach on September 15.

A bloodstained garden hoe, believed to be the murder weapon, was found nearby.

Post-mortem examinations revealed that Ms Witheridge died from head wounds while Mr Miller was killed by severe blows to the head and drowning.

Around 150 police have been posted to the island but are so far apparently no closer to finding the killer.

Gen Prawit said: "The area where the incident happened was very dark. The closed-circuit cameras could not capture images. I have ordered (authorities) nationwide that there must be sufficient lighting, especially in Bangkok and major tourist cities. And there must be closed-circuit TV cameras all over the country.

"I'm confident we will see clearer results within two months."

None of the dozens of DNA samples taken from migrant workers, Thai men and foreigners has matched the crime scene evidence, and no arrests have been made since the bodies were found, and critics say the investigation has been bungled by police.

"Right now we have limited the investigation to some areas and some individuals. We are not getting lost like they said because we have to work systematically," said Gen Prawit.

Press Association

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