PM to oversee police to ensure reform
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced, during his policy statement presentation, that he will personally take charge of the Royal Police Office and will reform the police force as priority.
Police reform has always been a priority for civic groups and pro-democracy movements. It was promised by the previous Prayut government five years ago, but nothing concrete has taken place as the government lacked the political will and courage to reform the police force.
In the policy statement, the Prime Minister pledged to undertake the reforms, including organizational restructuring, personnel and amendments to related laws, to make the police force more accountable and trusted by the people.
For the past five years, the Royal Thai Police has been under the supervision of Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan. Instead of reforming the police force, he chose to develop close relationships with top-ranking police officers.
The Royal Thai Police is a huge organization with more than 230,000 officers scattered throughout the country under several bureaus. It is often regarded as Thailand’s fourth armed force, after the Army, Air Force and Navy.
Even the idea of separating investigative duties into an independent organization, to ensure better justice for the public, has been fiercely resisted by most police.