Police reform on the way

The reform of the Thai police force is being planned and will focus on decentralisation of power, but it will not be reformed as a ministry, Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, deputy police chief acting as the national police chief, said on Tuesday.

Pol Gen Watcharapol said power would be decentralised to regional police commissioners, and they would run their organisations in a corporate style and have policy-making authority, instead of having to await orders or policies from the central Royal Thai Police Office.

Pol Gen Watcharapol denied speculation that a ministry of internal security would be established to replace the Royal Thai Police Office.

The acting national police chief did not set a timeframe police reform. He said it would have to be carefully discussed and seek consent from high-ranking commanders and from the next government.

He added that the Police Act would also have to be amended to support the reforms.

At present, Pol Gen Watcharapol said, all police officers should attend to their duties and ensure public safety without having to be concerned about the reform.s

Asked if politicians would still be able to influence the police office after its reform, Pol Gen Watcharapol said that any organisation with a decent leader could do well.

After the May 22 coup, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, chief of the National Council for Peace and Order, appointed Pol Gen Watcharapol as the acting police chief and transferred police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew to the Prime Minister's Office.

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