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Phuket Opinion: What would the mob do?

PHUKET: Exactly what do police in Phuket need to do more than they have this past week to ensure that the community they live in simply do not trust them anymore?

By The Phuket News

Sunday 14 August 2022, 10:00AM

Phuket City Police Chief Col Sarawut Chuprasit.

Phuket City Police Chief Col Sarawut Chuprasit.

The fatal shooting of a 7-year-old girl by her 9-year-old cousin last Saturday (Aug 6) occurred only because a police officer attending a housewarming party left his loaded gun in an unlocked beside drawer in a bedroom while children were playing in the house unsupervised.

Phuket police have for years carried their firearms while not on duty, resulting in deadly shootings, including a shootout in Phuket Town in which the police officer himself was shot dead. Despite the deaths by firearms carried by off-duty police, the Royal Thai Police have refused to revise their policy.

And here we are again, this time with a little girl shot dead, and Phuket City Police Chief Col Sarawut Chuprasit is not even pretending to hold the officer responsible to any degree of negligence that led to the fatal shooting – a duty of care that would be extended to any other person not of uniform.

Col Sarawut spoke about the incident on Monday, two days after the shooting, only because of growing criticism online, with claims that police were feathering their own nest, and were not investigating or even publicly recognising the incident.

Then, of all things, he incredibly explained that the 9-year-old boy would be charged – while expecting the charge to be dismissed by the court – with no mention of any action to be taken against the officer involved.

Police have already negotiated with the family, with Col Sarawut himself reporting on behalf of the mother that she levels no blame on the officer for leaving a loaded gun lying around.

QSI International School Phuket

Apparently criminal negligence applies only when a non-uniformed person is involved, and apparently leaving a loaded gun accessible to unsupervised children is appropriate gun control behaviour by officers of the Royal Thai Police.

The current lack of action by police on this matter is despicable. It is sickening. It is shameful. According to Col Sarawut, there is no need to even try to prevent the next fatal shooting by a police officer’s gun, accidental or otherwise, even if the next victim is a child.

At the lowest level, one has to ask what would a mob boss do if one of his henchmen was responsible for leaving a loaded gun lying around that was used in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old child in the community where the boss, like all mafia figures, wants to eventually be recognised as a legitimate business figure?

Even if the repercussions were not dire or threatening, they would at least be public. Some attempt would be made to prevent the accidental shooting of another child in the same community. With our police here in Phuket, apparently there is no need to do so.

As reports have shown in recent years, the deadly antics of the Royal Thai Police are becoming increasingly aloof. They appear to operate with impunity. They are not held accountable to anyone. They toss up to the public only those they want to present as a “bad apple” and continue to maintain that such officers conducted their illicit affairs alone. No one in any position of authority appears to challenge them.

And they wonder why only seven years ago residents in the “world class tourism destination” of Phuket rioted on Thalang Police Station, breaking windows, throwing bottles, bricks and rocks, and scorching vehicles using molotov cocktails.

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Ash Ward | 15 August 2022 - 20:50:59

I have a friend in Patong working in security. As he says.....there is no Mafia.....the police are the mafia!!

JohnC | 15 August 2022 - 09:24:27

RTP = Criminals in uniform. They think the laws they pledge to uphold do not apply to them at all. Try and get them to investigate a break-in at your home, wanted 5000B before they would even come and look. How does that work???

Timothy | 15 August 2022 - 08:12:39

The RTP operate exactly like the mafia. They extort money from all businesses legal and illegal. They allow whoever pays them money to do whatever they want, to the detriment of the entire country. Off duty Police have been involved in so many shootings, like the noodle vendor in Patong. Ask them for legitimate help. Forget it. 

christysweet | 14 August 2022 - 18:17:38

Nothing matters is the prevailing religious mindset and that is the root cause of all ills in Thailand. The child will be reincarnated so IT DOESN'T MATTER which is a  precept carefully cultivated over eons so the peasants will obey their masters without losing their minds for ineffectualism. 

skorchio | 14 August 2022 - 15:30:37

PN, I do applaud you printing this.

Old guy | 14 August 2022 - 15:23:11

Police force? There's a police force? THEY are the mob of thugs who do little other than take tea money and make everyone fearful. 

DeKaaskopp | 14 August 2022 - 14:54:48

@Kurt   "The article "Missing body in the car" underlines.... And this are just 2 mishandled affairs happening on Phuket in 1 week time. Omg Kurt, if you would read for once an article carefully , you would know that it did not happen on Phuket ! Jeez.

Fascinated | 14 August 2022 - 13:54:04

Best Police Force money can buy! They don't even go after cop-killers.

Nasa12 | 14 August 2022 - 13:24:38

RTP is totally rotting with corruption, thinking only of filling their pockets with money 24/7.  Watching it all day long at the roundabout in Chalong.

Capricornball | 14 August 2022 - 13:03:45

They have also created the mindset for society that rules can be ignored since they know the police are a joke. I think this helps Thailand win their spot as having one of the worst road fatality rates in the world. Illicit business (drugs, prostitution), human trafficking, everything bad...all thrive with the under-the-table blessing of the RTP. 

Capricornball | 14 August 2022 - 12:12:55

Thanks for calling out the RTP. The RTP is commonly referred to as "useless", but they are worse than that. They have as much disregard for law and order as the worst criminal they are supposed to protect society from. They deserve their reputation as useless, but they are worse as they have created a societal distrust and scorn equivalent to that of the public transport mafia.

Kurt | 14 August 2022 - 11:25:14

Great Opinion piece.  The RTP sub culture is of 'killing' influence in this country. The article "Missing body in the car" underlines a lot what RTP not stands for. And this are just 2 mishandled affairs happening on Phuket in 1 week time. Just noticing it needs no critics from us in comments. Prayuts biggest mistake not, as promised in 2015, cleaned up, reformed, restructured th...


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