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Phuket Opinion: Jumping the gun

PHUKET: Barely a day passes without the police, for good or ill, gracing the news and their actions, or lack of action, regularly drawing harsh criticism from our readers.

police, corruption, crime, patong,

The Phuket News

Sunday 2 April 2017, 08:00AM

When police dig in and do the 'hard yards' in police work, they deserve credit. Photo: The Phuket News / file
When police dig in and do the 'hard yards' in police work, they deserve credit. Photo: The Phuket News / file

Police deserve such comments when they fail to carry out even the most basic steps of standard police practice – such as testing a driver for alcohol immediately after a fatal road accident.

Worse, the recent refusal by police to identify the resort where two people were killed by an electric shock from a bathroom water heater is beyond excuse. That information is important to public safety and under an actual government, with a constitution actually in force, that information would and should be a matter of public record.

However, despite the regular negative examples, sometimes Phuket police do good work – like the long slog to reel in the killers of Patong tuk-tuk boss Sakol Srisompotch – for which they deserve praise. Of note, rarely is such good work acknowledged by regular commenters on our website.

When police fail to take action, The Phuket News calls them out for it, and on this point we stand by our record. However, we also call on readers not to jump to negative conclusions about the police’s actions until the facts are known. Conversely, police can do a lot more to help themselves by replacing speculation with fact.

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A case in point is the stalled criminal prosecution against the developers of the failed Ace Condo project in Patong. The Phuket News recently learned that negotiations were underway between the developers and investors – and if the negotiations were successful, the criminal complaint would be withdrawn. That information came via one of the disgruntled buyers, not the police.

By simply explaining this to the press police could have ended any speculation that they were paid to stall the investigation. By not saying anything they have allowed spectators to fill the void with negative assumptions and cynicism.

This example serves as a reminder that readers are better off basing their opinions on what is known, rather than what is not. As the saying goes, it’s better to light a candle than curse the dark. The Phuket News is trying to light as many candles as possible and we hope our readers can appreciate that light and take pause before they curse the darkness that remains.



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malczx7r | 03 April 2017 - 10:09:07

Kurt is right again, my Thai GF one of the first thing she told me was never to trust the police!

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Andy | 02 April 2017 - 19:03:42

Excellent editorial.

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Kurt | 02 April 2017 - 15:14:28

As usual, a fine and good Phuket News Opinion Article.

Indeed, there are good Phuket police work actions, you can count them on your hands..
However, there are cases/happenings, that the police declined comment, declined to be named ( hello! why?), decline to say or there was a drug/alcohol test was done ( yes or no, and why?) during a traffic accidents, decline the name of a hotel were 2 staff were electrocuted in a guest bathroom.
Decline/refuse to answer phone calls, and so on, and so on.

Royal Thai police officers sworn a oat: To Serve and Protect you!
Much of the RTP (non) actions are not done according their sworn oat.
Public speculations are only happening when the ..serving and protecting RTP.. is not open and transparent with info to the public, which they suppose to serve and protect!

The Patong police station corruption investigation of  high ranking officers for example feeds/confirm that 'public thinking' of:..."you see, what is wrong?".
Many years now it is common knowledge that there are on Phuket a few police stations not functioning as Serving and Protecting police stations.

Ask a thai person in the street: ..What do you think about the RTP?..
It is asking for a answer you already know. 
RTP has little credit among the thai people.

RTP has to be more forwarding and open to the public now in 2017 and less just do what they feel is convenient to do, or worse, not to do for any not logical reason. Why is that?
That is not a Part of:... 'To serve and protect'.

Written with respect for the good willing and well doing police officers who some times have 'impossible' bosses.

The Phuket News

Sam hayman | 02 April 2017 - 13:58:21

I'll tell you something which is a widely known fact in Phuket.

ALL police are thieving corrupt opportunists who pray on foreigners and pre plan ways they can extort money from us. 

They are NOT respected in Thailand by the Thais or expats and don't deserve any respect.

The only good they do sometimes is catch drug dealers so they get their photo in the papers.

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AlexR | 02 April 2017 - 10:00:15

I hope the police are paying you a cut of their tea money for this story. 

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