Particularly in the summer monsoon season, there are strong currents on many of the beaches and drownings are a depressingly common occurrence; four tourists died during a single 3-day stretch in June 2009. Heed the warning flags on popular beaches and play it safe if off the beaten track. Crime as of late has definitely increased in the Phuket area among tourists and you should keep this in mind and be vigilant of anyone who wants to befriend you or trick you into gambling (which is illegal) and anything else you consider out of the ordinary. Katoeys (ladyboys) are notorious for pick pocketing as you walk around the tourist areas at night. Also muggings do take place regularly. Avoid walking down unlit sois; stick to the main roads. If something looks/sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Tourist Police can be contacted locally by dialling 1155. They have a good basic understanding of English, so if in trouble these people should be contacted. Thai police speak hardly any English and normally take the side of the locals even if it is their fault. Always insist on the Tourist Police if you have any run-in with the Thai police. Use only metered taxis and ask hotels to call, take down driver licence plate and taxi registration numbers before you board. You can use the receipt from taxis to complain to police or find lost property, so take a receipt and licence numbers.