Connect with us


Police reforms cause a stir

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Police reforms cause a stir | Thaiger


– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Police reforms cause a stir
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: National police reforms introduced by the National Council for Peace and Order have already started creating ripples spreading far and wide, and also in the political arena.

Though several senior police officers and academics have welcomed the NCPO’s latest announcement on changes to the police force, politicians have been expressing concern. The changes, after all, look set to diminish political office holders’ role and influence in the police.

Under the reforms, it will be the national police chief, not the prime minister, who names the man for the top police job.

Also, a fairer seniority system will come into play during the nomination process.

“I think this is a good start to overhaul the Royal Thai Police. It’s the first step of the change that will ensure the Royal Thai Police really belongs to the people,” Deputy National Police Commissioner General Aek Angsananont said yesterday, referring to the announcements made on Monday night.

He said he certainly agreed with the new rule that allows the national police chief to nominate his successor.

“The Royal Thai Police must be free from political interference,” he said.

Over the past many years, angry protesters have often complained that police served certain political office holders as even the man at the top of the Royal Thai Police could lose his post at the whim of the prime minister.

Political office holders like the justice and interior ministers had long sat on the National Police Policy Commission, which oversees reshuffling and promotions in the police ranks.

The NCPO has already addressed these issues. Under the new set-up, the prime minister will no longer be allowed to nominate a new police chief, while the justice and interior ministers will no longer be part of the National Police Policy Commission.

Commenting on the ongoing police reform, acting national police chief General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit yesterday said he wanted to thank NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

“Thank you for giving police chiefs the mandate to punish and reward their subordinates” based on their merit, Watcharapol said.

Assistant Professor Panadda Chumnansook, a Kasetsart University lecturer who has been conducting studies on the police force, said the NCPO’s announcement was good because it would eradicate political meddling.

While no politician has openly lamented about politicians’ diminishing influence over the police force, some have already complained about the NCPO’s latest moves.

Pheu Thai member and former MP Somkid Chua-kong said yesterday that he disagreed with the ruling junta’s intervention in police affairs.

“Please respect the police force,” he said.

He even encouraged police officers to speak up against the NCPO if they did not agree with its latest moves.

“Don’t stay silent. You have already lost some of your rights.

“You must do something now or else the military will overstep in other areas too,” Somkid said.

Atthawit Suwannapakdee, a former Democrat MP, said he believed the NCPO had staged a politicians’ reform – not police reforms.

“Police will become more powerful, while politicians go the other way,” he said.

Atthawit said this meant that even if the NCPO’s latest moves were successful in curbing the central government’s influence over the police force, there was a risk of a police state materialising.

Some middle-ranking police officers also voiced concern about the new promotion criteria.

“What if the more senior guys aren’t as dedicated as the junior ones? Some policemen may simply take their jobs for granted because as they grow old, they will |be automatically promoted,” a police colonel at the Special Branch Police Division said.

But Panadda said the NCPO’s moves also facilitated decentralisation and thus should improve human-resource management within the Royal Thai Police. He expects civilians to benefit in the end too. “When police have good morale, their performance should improve as well,” he said.

The only question he has about the NCPO’s latest move is making the permanent secretary for Defence an ex-officio member of the National Police Policy Commission.

“I’m surprised about this. On the bright side, the permanent secretary for Defence is there to promote coordination between the police and military forces. But on the other hand, the move could be seen as a [military] intervention,” he said.

Those next in line

FIVE police generals qualify as candidates to succeed Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew in October.

Ranked according to seniority, they are deputy police chiefs Aek Angsananont, Pongsapat Pongcharoen; Somyot Poompanmoung and Worapong Chewprecha. The other candidate is Royal Thai Police InspectorGeneral Chalermkiat Srivorakan.

Deputy police chiefs Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit who is the caretaker police chief and Rachata Yensuang are due to retire in September, while Chatchawal Suksomjit has been appointed directorgeneral of the Department of Special Investigation.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Dole pineapple factory has 34 new Covid-19 cases, 413 total

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Chinese Sinovac vaccine debuts in Singapore to high demand

Drugs13 hours ago

Drug smuggler caught in Kalasin with 300 kg of marijuana

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Politics14 hours ago

Amendment to reform Constitution rejected by Parliament

Medical15 hours ago

Gender Health Clinic opens in Bangkok for transgender needs

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

30 million baht added to vaccine side effects compensation fund

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Plan for 16-week gap between AstraZeneca vaccines dropped

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

CCSA: 120 day reopening will proceed with conditions

Tourism20 hours ago

Sandbox latest, CCSA says all regions reopening must reach 70% local vaccination

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,667 new infections and 32 deaths

Politics24 hours ago

Thamanat elected to role of head ‘fixer’ in Palang Pracharat party

Expats1 day ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Thailand2 days ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8