Royal Thai police say new uniforms will help in pursuit of criminals

Stock photo via US National Archives

The Royal Thai Police say new uniforms will help them be more “agile” in their pursuits of criminals. The uniform’s prototype is still under trials and has yet to be launched. The move to change uniforms has been attempted in the past, with tourist police once seeing their usual long-sleeved khaki shirt with shoulder pads and metal badges morph to short-sleeved shirts and blue shorts. But previous modifications to their attires was short-lived.

Somprasong Yenthuam, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau has been assigned by the police chief to oversee the uniform change this time around. A committee has been formed to study the input gathered from officers across the country, as well as the public. But the police chief wants the new uniforms to be suited to patrol operations with a final decision being made after a 10-day trial period of the uniforms.

The new style of uniform is currently being tested at the 3 police stations of Chakkrawat, Bang Yi Khan and Bukhalo in Bangkok. The trial started on May 3 and will run until this Thursday, with 10 active-duty officers, at the operational level, trying out the new uniforms.

“The three police stations were chosen because they are ready for the trial as the areas under their jurisdiction are fairly large with many residents.”

The uniforms feature a baseball-style cap, which is much lighter than the traditional police helmets, and a shirt with 2 panels. The upper panel is made of khaki while the lower is made from a more breathable fabric which is easy to launder. The new badges are made of cloth, taking into account previous complaints by officers of the badges’ jagged edges injuring them while working. The new pants feature an elastic waistband and multiple pockets. The new shoes are designed for running without causing foot pain.

“The committee has studied police uniforms from around the world before deciding on the prototype. But what is most important is the opinion of police officers who use it, and the public. Whether the proposed new police uniform will convey less power or authority remains to be seen. It is not finalised yet and can still be changed.”

The new uniforms cost around 2,000 baht but Somprasong says the department will use its annual provision to pay for the uniforms without needing to add more money. Krisanaphong Poothakool, an associate professor of criminology and assistant president at Rangsit University, says the new uniform must help officers be more agile.

“However, how the officers perform their duties and behave themselves in public is more important than their uniforms. Changing the uniform will be useless if the officers fail to improve their behaviour.”

Royal Thai police say new uniforms will help in pursuit of criminals | News by ThaigerSOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.


  1. ‘ . . . “The three police stations were chosen because they are ready for the trial as the areas under their jurisdiction are fairly large with many residents.”’

    Yes, that sounds like a typical Thai officialdom reason, i.e. totally illogical reason, for choosing those stations. What the hell has the number of residents got to do with a new uniform trial?

    So, that’s looking like 200,000 guys needing, let’s say, 3 uniforms apiece (one worn, one in the wash, the other in case of contingency [bullet holes, maybe]), i.e. 600,000 sets, costing, let’s say, 5,000 baht each, adding up to a cool 3 BILLION baht . . . Well, it’s only money and we know that this government is overflowing with the stuff.

    Or is this all just a joke . . . the RTP trying to make up for not making the news much lately?

  2. Its still a costume. The definition of charlatan. The issue isn’t so much about which costume is appropriate but that every one from judges to the police enforce edicts that go against the free will of the people’s spirits. At no point in history have authorities had an absolute truth or control of people. The people will still do what they want. Respect is earned not commanded. Victimless crimes being enforce to collect fees is the problem.

  3. Good idea because modern fabric like the Polyester used in active Sportswear doesn’t soak up the sweat and clings on you like a wet towel. More pockets are also helpfull for all the equipment they have to carry around…. and the new “running type” Shoes. I am certain that the western Soldiers from the US, Australia etc. would have been gratefull for a change of their clothes and shoes. What they suffered in this hot,humid climate just because of the wrong fabric is difficult for those that did not have to go through this ordeal. Nobody ever asked these guy’s about their opinion since it was all just a deal between parties that wanted to make money.

  4. The current uniform looked smart and good on the police force some 20 years ago, before McDonalds and other fast food restaurants opened. Now most of the boys look like the Michel man in brown ?

  5. The uniforms are about 2000 baht each, as it says it the report.
    I still have no idea why the police and navy wear brown. Most police and navy around the world seem to wear some shade of blue. More importantly, the uniform should fit the job. Certainly a bike patrolman needs shorts and senior officers at the station could do with a suit and not the tight brown nonsense. The tight brown polyester stretched over a middle age gut actually conveys authority? Gimme a break!

  6. I always thought the tight uniforms looked uncomfortable especially in that heat.

    I bet the police can’t wait for them to go nationwide.

    My attire in Thailand during the daytime is a pair of shorts, soft airy shoes and a loose shirt.

  7. “Criminals pursuing Criminals” was once a mantra often heard in the Land of Smile. However having new uniforms is less likely to reduce crime in the country than removing corruption from within.

  8. While it would be great if the police would actually did their job in the provinces outside of Bangkok and tourist towns, I do feel bad that they have to wear those thick cotton button-ups in this country’s daily humidity and heat.

    Weather should be considered for the uniforms of any profession so let’s hope that are boys and brown get these uniforms to keep them cool and comfortable.

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