On September 17th, 2023, the Thai Journalists Association set up a conference on “Police Reform: Reclaim Faith or Downfall” in Bangkok lectured by Adjunct Professor Wicha Mahakun, a former member of the NCCC, or the National Counter Corruption Commission, Pol. Col. Wirut Sirisawatdibut, a Secretary General of IJR, and Dr. Mana Nimitmongkol, a Secretary General of ACT.
In the conference, Adjunct Professor Wicha commented in regard to the Royal Thai Police Organization in Thailand that centralized authority leads to a lack of comprehensive management in the organization and causes issues such as outsiders exploiting bribery, illicit promotions, gambling, etc. To reform this crisis state, decentralization and empowerment at provincial levels are necessary, Wicha believes.
“The Thai police organization should abolish the current military-style ranking system: police officers must be civilians and have no rank. Additionally, rankings can be considered a bad working environment. This is a sustainable solution to police reformation,” said Pol. Col. Wirut.
Recently, Thai news media has been dominated by the case of an influential Kamnan Nok, a sub-district headman/Tambon Chief, which is an infamous case that displayed the state of corruption and failure in government. Without good responsibilities from the government, police officers submitted to an influential local figure which led to the death of a good officer, said Pol. Col. Wirut.
Dr. Mana addressed that in a new commissioner general people want to see a change for a better police organization. In the future, good efforts and righteousness from police reform will eventually reclaim the faith of the Thai people.
A recent poll showed that most Thais believe law enforcement and politicians protect shady influential figures, as reported here.