Tue, June 28, 2022

in-focus

Police to delete criminal records of innocent individuals


The Royal Thai Police will delete criminal records of former suspects who were later proved innocent so that their chances of employment are not affected, an assistant national police chief said.

Pol Lt-General Surachate Hakparn, assistant police commissioner-general, said National Police chief Pol General Suwat Jangyodsuk wanted the Criminal Records Division to speed up an update of the criminal record database by removing records of suspects cleared of any wrongdoing.

Surachate said most employers now required job applicants to show proof they have no criminal records but former suspects, who were later cleared or found innocent, would still have their records kept in the database unless they contacted the division.

Surachate said Suwat wanted to “return justice” to the exonerated suspects so police would from now on delete their records without requiring them to inform the division first.

He has instructed Police Forensic Science Office commissioner Pol Lt-General Weera Jiraweera and Criminal Records Division commander Pol Maj-General Thakoon Nimsomboon to speed up the “isolation” of records of the cleared suspects for deletion from the database.

Surachate pointed to three categories of cases, which would see personal files deleted:

- Cases that public prosecutors rejected or ordered a halt to in line with the public prosecution law.

- Cases that a court rejected.

- Cases in which a court ruled to acquit the suspects.

As of April 28, the database had 12.4 million records which had not yet been isolated and deleted, according to Surachate.

Investigators have informed the Criminal Records Division that cases to do with 7.8 million of these records have been finalised for deletion.

The remaining 4.6 million are pending an update by case investigators, he reported.

Surachate said he had instructed all police stations nationwide to speed up the process of updating the division on the status of cases.

“This project of ‘deleting files to clear criminal records and return life to the people’ was initiated by Pol General Suwat so that those who are innocent can get justice and return to a normal life,” Surachate said.

Police to delete criminal records of innocent individuals He also said police recently arrested two suspects after they allegedly used forged police criminal record checks to deceive former suspects that they could help with clearing their criminal records.

One suspect was identified as Worapol Songsalaboon, 28, a resident of Pathum Thani’s Klong Luang district.

Surachate said Worapol allegedly claimed in his Facebook posts that he could help former suspects clear their criminal records at a cost of THB200 to THB2,000 and the former suspects did not have to be present at the Criminal Records Division as is the normal practice.

Several paid the fee to Worapol and received fake criminal record check reports instead. Worapol is now facing criminal charges at Yannawa police station, Surachate said.

The other suspect was identified as Jamlong Yingtrakul, 56, a resident of Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa-in district.

He was arrested after some people asked the Criminal Records Division to check whether some criminal record checks were authentic. The division investigated and found the documents were allegedly forged by Jamlong.

He too is facing charges, at the Pathumwan police station, Surachate added.

Published : May 04, 2022

By : THE NATION