Thailand's tourist police will be speaking ''fluent'' English within six months, according to an official announcement last week. This is most encouraging news, although the six-month deadline is perhaps a trifle optimistic - I have been trying to master the English language for six decades and still haven't got the hang of it.
Anyway, don't be surprised if next time you see Sgt Nop and friends summoned to assist a tourist in distress, they come out with something like ''Hello, hello, hello, what's going on here then?'' (The dropped ''h'' is perhaps a bit too much to expect.) However, if they are heard saying ''Do you feel lucky, punk?'' or ''Go ahead, make my day,'' I'm afraid they need a different teacher.
If the tourist police have done their homework really well and studied the ancient Dixon of Dock Green tapes, upon their arrival tourists can even expect to be greeted with a little salute and a friendly ''Evening all!'' and upon departure, perhaps a cautionary farewell of ''Mind how you go!'' But if they start whistling Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner, that's perhaps going a little bit over the top.