The reminder was posted by the Phuket Info Center yesterday (Feb 21), following a German tourist going public about a Chalong Police officer asking him to pay a fine of B5,000 for illegally riding a motorbike through the Chalong Underpass, then suggesting and accepting B2,000 cash by the side of the road. No receipt was given to the tourist for the cash handed over.
The new regulations for police officers at checkpoints to abide by were issued by the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, and have been posted publicly on the official website of the Royal Thai Police Traffic Police Division.
The notice on the Traffic Police website is undated, but was first posted by the Phuket Info Center on Feb 10 ‒ 10 days before the incident with the German tourist in Chalong on Sunday.
The new regulations have been brought into effect following the Royal Thai Police coming under fire for a slew of cases involving corrupt officers, including the extortion of B27,000 from a high-profile Taiwanese actress for carrying an e-cigarette.
The new checkpoint regulations have been introduced by the national police chief “in order to achieve transparency and standards”, said the Traffic Police notice.
Of note, In reporting the new regulations, the Public Relations Department (PRD) posted a notice saying plainly, “Without Bodycam, do not set a checkpoint”.
Under the new regulations, checkpoints may be set up for three purposes: 1. Traffic discipline checks; 2. Drug inspection; and 3. Alcohol level measurement.
Checkpoints must have an area of at least 20m and staffed by 12, 9 or 7 police officers respectively.
Each checkpoint must have a team leader and a team of officers assigned carrying out inspections. Three alcohol testing sets must be on site and personal protection equipment must be available for officers and suspects.
A sign indicating that a checkpoint is ahead must be posted 150m before the checkpoint.
Inside the checkpoint, there must be CCTV cameras recording at all times from the checkpoint entrance to the alcohol testing table or “negotiation table”.
Footage from the CCTV cameras must be available for checks for the past three days.
People are allowed to record photos and video clips while the officers are performing their duties.
In the case of alcohol tests, the staff/officers conducting the tests will change the mouthpiece in front of the public every time.
A light sign must be installed at the checkpoint indicating the name and position of the team leader, who must be a commissioned police officer, along with that officer’s phone number, and all checkpoints must be authorised by the commanding officer for the immediate area or above.
Any people with complaints about how a checkpoint is conducted can call the Traffic Police Division hotline 1599, the notice said.
Timothy | 24 February 2023 - 07:28:22