Thu, May 26, 2022


Reforms will make it easier to file police complaints

Interrogations to be captured on film; no parading of suspects before press

AS PART of police reform, people will soon be able to lodge a complaint with police via email. 
Complainants will also no longer have to worry about the jurisdiction of police stations once reforms are in place, because their complaint can be registered at any police station. 
Under the reform plan, every police interrogation of a suspect will be filmed, and in serious criminal cases, public prosecutors will also be present.
Preparations for these new procedures for the police bureau have already gained solid momentum. 
The Cabinet yesterday approved a draft amendment to the Criminal Code, which is key to the police reform. 
“This amendment seeks to bar police from bringing suspects to press conferences,” Government Spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta, who is also the PM’s deputy permanent secretary, said. 
Police often hold press conferences to report on their achievements, especially in much-publicised cases. Some suspects are even required to answer questions at such conferences. 
In one high-profile case, police even allowed a confrontation between the suspects and victims in front of media. 

Damned in advance
Human-rights activists have said that such practices are unacceptable, especially since according to law, every suspect is considered innocent until proved guilty. 
Rights advocates have also pointed out that a suspect’s reputation is damaged when their photo appears in the media – even if they are found innocent later. 
In the face of the activists’ outcry, National Police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda last year issued an order instructing police not to bring suspects to press conferences. 
Yet in August, Chakthip himself appeared at a press conference to announce the arrest of Panya Yingdung, who has now confessed to fatally shooting Paweena Namuangrak, 20, and Anantachai Jaritram during the victims’ trip to Chon Buri’s Sattahip district. 
The double murders drew huge public attention because the shooting was blatantly carried out in front of a huge Buddha image on a large cliff. The suspect, who was in love with Paweena, had been on the run for a few weeks before being caught at a border province. 

Published : December 25, 2018

By : Jitraporn Senwong The Nation