The Royal Thai Police proposed the measure after a string of police suicides in recent months.
Four officers, based in Chumphon, Chiang Mai, Sing Buri and Kamphaeng Phet, were overwhelmed with stress and committed suicide after they were transferred from their home provinces to work in investigation units at police stations in the aforementioned provinces.
A police source said the officers were unfamiliar with investigative work due to their lack of experience.
“Furthermore, the shortage of police investigators nationwide means that investigators would often have to shoulder more workload,” Col Kissana said.
According to Col Kissana, out of the 17,500 police investigator positions across the Royal Thai Police, 5,900 are currently vacant.
“Some investigators have complained about being overworked, or being placed in units which do not match their skills, qualifications, and/or preferences,” he said.
As a response, national police chief Chaktip Chaijinda has instructed assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Uthayo to study measures to help reduce work-related stress among investigators, added Col Kissana.
“Allowing officers to seek a transfer to their home provinces and giving more weight to officers’ preferences in unit assignments are among the measures that were discussed,” he said.
“While all requests will be taken into account, not all will be approved as we also have to take into account other factors, especially considering our current shortage [of investigators],” he said.
Officers will a law degree can formally ask to be posted as an investigator. Additional incentives and benefits are accorded to police investigators, depending on their position and ranking.
That said, Col Kissana said that work-related stress may not be the only factor that drove the officers to suicide.
“A check of their personal and professional records suggests that the officers may have underlying health problems, and/or were facing personal problems,” he said.
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