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Reform the police

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Illegal gambling dens only most visible form of police corruption, the underground economy which police profit from is 20% of the economy. 



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EDITORIAL

High time to reform police

6/07/2012

It may well be just a publicity stunt to keep him in the public eye. But Rak Thailand Party leader Chuvit Kamolvisit wins approval from the public every time he exposes police corruption by staging raids on underground gambling dens - with news media crews always in tow.

His most recent target was an illegal casino on Soi Kingphet in central Bangkok. After vehement denials from the police top brass of the casino's existence, the former massage parlour tycoon led a media crew to expose the Kingphet casino which, he said, enjoys protection from both the police and powerful politicians.

During the raid attempt, he was stopped by an angry crowd. The police, instead of breaking into the alleged casino to prove Mr Chuvit wrong, told him to retreat for his own safety.

Afterwards, Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang still insisted there was no such casino in the soi, which only succeeded in stirring public scorn.

When asked why casino raids have become his pet project, the politician who twice vied for the Bangkok governorship through anti-corruption campaigns, answered loud and clear: "Underground casinos represent the most visible form of police corruption. You see them everywhere. If we cannot deal with this issue, how can we start dealing with other forms of police corruption which are eroding our country."

Indeed, who could argue with him about that?

How can we hope for a society governed by the rule of law when the police force is deeply corrupt.

Thailand is being torn apart by the politics of colours. But can any of the rival parties bring about justice when police corruption remains so entrenched.

Illegal gambling dens are actually just a small part of the underground economy, worth up to 20% of the official economy.

The sex industry alone is a 200-billion-baht business. But whether in prostitution, gambling, drug and human trafficking, the trading in contraband arms, or the smuggling of diesel oil and other illegal goods, the people behind these businesses cannot run their enterprises without paying protection money to the police.

In the gambling industry, 5-20% of total earnings can be spent on police protection. If the same rate applies to other underground businesses, it is no wonder that buying positions is common practice in the police force.

It also becomes clear why aspiring junior police officers are willing to pay up to 300,000-400,000 baht to cheat in the recruitment examination for a job that pays just 6,000-7,000 baht a month, as exposed in the police exam scandal early last month.

Police corruption is a major reason why the country cannot curb the huge human trafficking business that is closely linked to the cross-border flesh trade and the supply of modern-day slave workers for plantations and fishing vessels. It is why the criminals are not prosecuted. And it is why the US State Department has threatened to place Thailand at the bottom of its three-tier ranking system and face subsequent sanctions for its poor anti-human trafficking record.

The police force, which runs under a closed, feudal-like system, urgently needs reform. Police should be rewarded based on merit, and made more accountable to the community, not to a centralised command that is vulnerable to political interference as it is now.

There is only one way to tackle underground businesses and widespread violations of human rights. There is only one way to kick-start the rule of law and justice: Reform the police.

(Source: Bangkok Post, EDITORIAL, High time to reform police, 6/07/2012,, link)


Police Reform Vocabulary

reform - improvements in the way government or an organization operates; a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป

police reform (noun phrase)
reform police (verb phrase)

high time to ... - should do it right now (have waited too long already)

High time to reform police

publicity - media attention given to something in magazines, newspapers, or television; free advertising การเผยแพร่ (See glossary)
stunt - something silly, unusual or crazy done to get public attention

publicity stunt - some unusual or crazy thing done to get public attention

in the public eye - receiving a lot of attention from the public

approval - saying "yes" you can do something, getting official permission to do something; official permission การอนุมัต
wins approval from the public

expose - show the public the truth, because you believe it is illegal or dishonest ตีแผ่ เปิดเผย เปิดเผยออกมา
corruption - (See Wikipedia on bribery, corporate corruption, and political corruption)

exposes police
corruption

raid - when the police or military use force to enter a place suddenly in order to arrest people or search for something such as illegal weapons or drugs การเข้าตรวจค้น บุกเข้าจับ ใช้กำลังเข้าค้นสถานที่หรือ จับกุมคนร้าย เข้าบุก
staging raids - conducting raids, doing raids
raid attempt

gambling - the activity of betting money, for example in a game or on a horse race การพนัน
underground gambling dens - hidden illegal gambling places
staging raids on underground gambling dens

media - radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group สื่อ

tow
- to pull a vehicle or boat by fixing it to the back of a another vehicle or boat ลากจูง
in tow - with people following behind

crew
- a group of people who work somewhere such as on a ship, aircraft, reporting on news, etc. ลูกเรือ
with news
media crews in tow

It may well be just a publicity stunt to keep him in the public eye. But Rak Thailand Party leader Chuvit Kamolvisit wins approval from the public every time he exposes police corruption by staging raids on underground gambling dens - with news media crews always in tow.

target - 1. to try to attack someone or something; 2. a goal; what planning to achieve เป้าหมาย
illegal - against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
target was an illegal casino

denial
- to say that something is not true
vehement denials - to say very strongly that something is not true


top brass - the highest level officers in the military and police
police top brass

tycoon
- a person who has succeeded in business or industry and has become very rich and powerful นักธุรกิจที่ร่ำรวยและมีอิทธิพลมาก
former massage parlour tycoon

His most recent target was an illegal casino on Soi Kingphet in central Bangkok. After vehement denials from the police top brass of the casino's existence, the former massage parlour tycoon led a media crew to expose the Kingphet casino which, he said, enjoys protection from both the police and powerful politicians.

alleged - claimed, but not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
the
alleged casino

retreat - move away from, get less involved in
retreat for his own safety.

During the raid attempt, he was stopped by an angry crowd. The police, instead of breaking into the alleged casino to prove Mr Chuvit wrong, told him to retreat for his own safety.

insisted - say firmly that something must happen or is true, and will not change mind
insisted there was no casino

scorn - to treat someone as if they do not deserve your respect or approval
public scorn - when the public basically says: "How can I respect you?" 

stirring up
- causing something to increase (example: stirring up anger)
stirring public scorn

Afterwards, Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang still insisted there was no such casino in the soi, which only succeeded in stirring public scorn.

pet project - a person's special project (that they take a special personal interest in and work hard for)

vied for
- tried to get
vied for
the Bangkok governorship

campaigns - a long series of events staged to achieve a goal or to promote something (for example, an "anti-smoking campaign")
anti-corruption
campaigns

clear - easy to understand
answered loud and clear

underground casinos -
illegal gambling places

represent
- stand for, to be a sign or symbol of something
underground casinos represent the most visible form of police corruption

issue - a problem that needs to be considered and solved ประเด็น
deal with this issue - solve the problem

eroding our country - weakening our country

When asked why casino raids have become his pet project, the politician who twice vied for the Bangkok governorship through anti-corruption campaigns, answered loud and clear: "Underground casinos represent the most visible form of police corruption. You see them everywhere. If we cannot deal with this issue, how can we start dealing with other forms of police corruption which are eroding our country." Indeed, who could argue with him about that?

rule of law - a situation in which the law determines legal cases and not friends, influential people, conections and who you know
police force

How can we hope for a society governed by the rule of law when the police force is deeply corrupt.

rival - competing; opposing; a person, group, team or business that competes with another  คู่แข่ง
rival parties - opposing competing sides or groups

justice - when people are treated fairly and equally (See Wikipedia) ความยุติธรรม

entrenched - firmly in place and difficult to move out ตั้งมั่น
remains - no change in situation
police corruption remains entrenched

Thailand is being torn apart by the politics of colours. But can any of the rival parties bring about justice when police corruption remains so entrenched.

underground economy - the hidden illegal economy, neither taxed nor openly reported on (See Wikipedia)

official - approved by the government or some authority ที่เป็นทางการ
official economy

Illegal gambling dens are actually just a small part of the underground economy, worth up to 20% of the official economy.

prostitution - the business of selling sex การค้าประเวณี
human trafficking -

contraband
- goods taken into or out of a country illegally
arms
- weapons อาวุธ

contraband arms
trading in contraband arms

smuggling - take things illegally into a country or other place ลักลอบขนสินค้าหรือคนเข้าและออกจากประเทศอย่างผิดกฎหมาย
smuggling of diesel oil and other illegal goods

enterprises - companies
protection money paid to the police

cannot run their enterprises without paying protection money to the police.

The sex industry alone is a 200-billion-baht business. But whether in prostitution, gambling, drug and human trafficking, the trading in contraband arms, or the smuggling of diesel oil and other illegal goods, the people behind these businesses cannot run their enterprises without paying protection money to the police.

practice - a way of doing something การปฏิบัติ
common practice - a way of doing something that a lot of people use

In the gambling industry, 5-20% of total earnings can be spent on police protection. If the same rate applies to other underground businesses, it is no wonder that buying positions is common practice in the police force.

aspiring - want to be something in the future; have a high goal to achieve
aspiring junior police officers

cheat
- gain or get something from someone by lieing and being dishonest to them
recruitment - the process of finding people to work for a company or become a new member of an organisation การสรรหาใหม่

cheat in the recruitment examination

exposed - made known; uncovered เปิดเยต่อ
scandal - a situation in which important people behave in a dishonest or immoral way that shocks people เรื่องอื้อฉาว (See Wikipedia)

exposed
in the police exam scandal

It also becomes clear why aspiring junior police officers are willing to pay up to 300,000-400,000 baht to cheat in the recruitment examination for a job that pays just 6,000-7,000 baht a month, as exposed in the police exam scandal early last month.

reason - an explanation of an event, why an event happened เหตุ ; เหตุผล ; สาเหตุ
the reason why
the major reason why

curb - stop or reduce ลดหรือยุติ to control or limit something that is harmful ระงับ, ควบคุม
cannot curb - cannot stop or reduce
cannot curb the huge human trafficking business

linked
- connected เชื่อมโยง เกี่ยวกับ

border - the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
cross-border - across the border; between one country and another country

trade
- the buying and selling of things การค้าขาย

flesh trade - the buying and selling of women for use in prostitution (selling sex)
cross-border
flesh trade

plantations - large farms

vessels
- ships เรือขนาดใหญ่
fishing vessels

threatened
- telling someone that if they don't do it, they will be punished

tier - level
three-tier - has three levels
three-tier ranking system - a system for saying how good things are (ranking) that has three levels

subsequent
- happening afterwards
sanctions
- punishment for countries that have broken international law (restricting trade and official contact)
subsequent sanction

record - all the things that a person or organization has accomplished and the goals it has achieved in its work
poor record - when it has not achieved many goals at all
poor anti-human trafficking record - when it has not achieved many goals fighting human trafficking

Police corruption is a major reason why the country cannot curb the huge human trafficking business that is closely linked to the cross-border flesh trade and the supply of modern-day slave workers for plantations and fishing vessels. It is why the criminals are not prosecuted. And it is why the US State Department has threatened to place Thailand at the bottom of its three-tier ranking system and face subsequent sanctions for its poor anti-human trafficking record.

urgently - needing to be dealt with immediately อย่างเร่งด่วน
merit - to deserve something ควรได้รับ

accountable
- having to explain what you did to others, cannot just act independently the way you want all the time
community - local people, all the people who live in a local area or place ชุมชน

command

centralized command

vulnerable - easily damaged or harmed ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย ที่เปราะบาง ที่ล่อแหลมต่อการเกิดภัยภิบัติ

interference
- the process of deliberately becoming involved in a situation and trying to influence the way that it develops การเข้าแทรกแซง
political interference - when politicians interfere in some situation (they should not be involved in)

The police force, which runs under a closed, feudal-like system, urgently needs reform. Police should be rewarded based on merit, and made more accountable to the community, not to a centralised command that is vulnerable to political interference as it is now.

tackle a problem - to make an organised and determine attempt to deal with a problem จัดการ  แก้ปัญหา  จัดการกับปัญหา

rights
- something you are legally or morally allowed to do or have (See Wikipedia) สิทธิ์
human rights
violations of human rights

widespread - happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
widespread violations of human rights

kick-start -
start quickly (like kicking the start pedal on a Honda Dream motorcycle)
kick-start the rule of law and justice


There is only one way to tackle underground businesses and widespread violations of human rights. There is only one way to kick-start the rule of law and justice: Reform the police.

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