Thailand giving whistles to female visitors to Phuket to sound in emergencies

BANGKOK, Thailand — Female tourists visiting the Thai island of Phuket are going to be given whistles to sound in case of an emergency.

The Thai Tourism Ministry announced the move Monday, two days after the murder of a Swedish woman in broad daylight.

The whistles are part of a campaign to increase security on Phuket, one of Thailand's most popular tourist destinations.

The Swedish woman, 27-year-old Hanna Charlotta Backlund, was stabbed to death Saturday while taking a walk on Mai Khao beach, on the northern tip of Phuket.

Her attacker remains at large.

Phuket police Maj. Sathabhorn Sangaunsuk says the whistles will be shaped like the symbol commonly used to designate women - a circle above a cross - and can be worn around the neck.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Ministry also plans to increase the presence of security guards around the island and publish safety manuals that will be distributed to tourists.

Authorities said the security plan has just been devised and they did not know when distribution of the whistles would begin.
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