Juvenile violence sparks national police chief’s call for tougher laws

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

In a bid to curb the alarming rise in violent crimes committed by young offenders, National Police Chief Police General Torsak Sukvimol ordered a comprehensive review of all criminal cases involving youngsters over the past five years.

The objective is to assess whether the existing juvenile criminal laws should be revamped to enforce stricter penalties for violent offences, said Pol. Gen. Torsak.

“We are compiling criminal records for analysis, and the findings will be submitted to the Justice Ministry by the end of this month.”

This move by the Royal Thai Police (RTP) comes in response to mounting public pressure, urging the government to reconsider existing laws that may inadvertently allow young criminals to evade justice based solely on their age. Recent shocking incidents of violence perpetrated by minors have ignited a nationwide debate on the adequacy of juvenile criminal legislation.

The most recent tragedy unfolded in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district, where 47 year old Buaphan Tansu fell victim to a brutal assault. Five individuals aged between 13 and 16 have been apprehended in connection with her tragic death.

Pol. Gen. Torsak is committed to transparency in the investigation.

“I’ve instructed Deputy Police Chief Pol. Gen. Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn and Police Provincial Police Region 2 Chief, Pol. Lt. Gen. Somprasong Yentuam, to scrutinise the local police’s handling of the case.”

Woman’s murder

Criticism has been directed at the Aranyaprathet district police, particularly after a TV reporter uncovered security camera footage depicting the vicious assault on the 47 year old woman by a group of teenagers – one of whom is the son of a policeman, reported Bangkok Post.

Addressing concerns about the initial arrest of Buaphan’s husband, Panya Khongsaengkham, Pol. Gen. Torsak affirmed that local police followed the investigation process. The perpetrator, Panya confessed, but upon discovering footage implicating the five youngsters, he was released.

Move Forward Party (MFP) MP Nattacha Boonchai-insawat, leading the House committee on social welfare, stressed the urgency of re-evaluating juvenile criminal laws in the wake of the Buaphan case. Expressing reservations about calls for abolition, Nattacha suggested exploring alternative solutions.

“The law gives youngsters a chance, but we must assess if the offence committed by a juvenile is as serious as that by an adult.”

The case, according to the MFP MP, underscores the need for a revamp in the police force, which he believes is facing a crisis of faith.

Crime NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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