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Bodycams required at police checkpoints

PHUKET: Phuket officials have issued a reminder of the newly issued requirements of police officers at checkpoints, including that they must wear active bodycams while on duty.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 22 February 2023, 09:41AM

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.

Brightview Center

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.

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Timothy | 24 February 2023 - 07:28:22

With all the scams that go on in Phuket with taxis, Patong touts, jet skis, motorbike rentals, RTP traffic stops, drinks being added onto bills in bars, threats from taxi mafia re parking, etc etc, foreigners  should be wearing body cams. That would make for some amazing Thailand video. 

maverick | 23 February 2023 - 14:33:00

That will put the cops at Chalong circle out of business :-) :-) 

Kamala Pete | 23 February 2023 - 11:08:09

The whole concept of "check points" smacks of police states. Instead, those officers should be actively patrolling roads to keep them safer. Body cams mandatory for traffic stops.

JohnC | 23 February 2023 - 08:56:43

"Check points must be staffed by 12, 9 or 7 officers" Any reasons why these specific numbers were chosen? Bodycams are a good idea if turned on and being used as they are supposed to be.

Kurt | 23 February 2023 - 06:07:04

At a check point RTP can not check driving dicipline. That should be done by driving traffic police. ( with police car or big motorbike). So, now we go to see at least 7 RTP officers at check point end underpasses? On paper it all looks interesting, now we wait or they are really going to do what they talk.

Capricornball | 22 February 2023 - 12:35:31

All this article talks about is bodycams at checkpoints...nothing about Officer Somchai sitting the the exit to a underpass money tube where they can bushwhack unsuspecting farangs (where the fine starts at 5k baht, but they'll settle for 2k). Even though I know motorbikes cannot use underpass, I have found myself unable to exit the lane to avoid it.

Fascinated | 22 February 2023 - 11:13:57

Warning of a checkpoint sort of defeats the purpose unless there are 'stop groups' to catch those who just turn around upon seeing the sign. I guess they never figured the law-abiding will just go through whilst those with something to hide will high tail it in the opposite direction.

Kamala Pete | 22 February 2023 - 11:07:40

These steps show a real resolve to address the problem and are to be commended. What is so sad is that the procedures are needed in the first place.


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