Over 1,000 defy curfew, face charges

Over 1,000 defy curfew, face charges

Most offenders teens taking drugs, booze

Phahurat area in Bangkok before the curfew started last Friday. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Phahurat area in Bangkok before the curfew started last Friday. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

A total of 1,021 people nationwide were charged and 135 others warned for flouting the curfew between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, Pol Lt Gen Piya Uthayo, assistant police chief and police spokesman said.

They are among nearly 28,000 people who were stopped and searched by security officials at more than 900 checkpoints nationwide during the curfew from 10pm to 4am, said Pol Lt Gen Piya.

Most of the people stopped and searched, however, were those who were allowed to travel during the curfew including workers transporting consumer products and agricultural products and workers who were heading home after finishing their night shifts.

On average well over 1,000 people faced legal action for defying the curfew every night so far this week, said Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, an assistant police chief.

Most of the offenders were arrested in precincts under the supervision of Provincial Police Region 1, which covers provinces in the lower Central Plains as well as those surrounding Bangkok, and in Provincial Police Region 4 which covers the northeastern provinces, he said.

In Bangkok, more than 100 people have been arrested for defying the curfew each night, he said.

Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak said it has been observed that most of the offenders were teenagers who were supposed to be home during a school break but hung out in groups drinking alcohol, and taking illicit drugs which caused them to fail to return home in time, he said.

General commuters were urged to spare sufficient time for travelling back home before the start of the nightly curfew, he said.

National police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, meanwhile, instructed police nationwide to strictly enforce the law against those who defy the curfew, commit crimes during the period and spread fake news about Covid-19 infections and the curfew, said deputy spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Judiciary said it was checking on people wearing electronic monitoring devices during the curfew.

Sarawut Benjakul, secretary-general of the office, said the centre for handling the use of electronic monitoring devices wanted go give its assurance the detainees were being kept under close watch.

However, he said the centre has found from its surveillance system that some of them appeared to be moving at speeds of over 40 kilometres per hour during the curfew, which suggested that they were travelling outside of the home area where they were meant to be confined.

When detecting such suspicious movements, the centre promptly called people with the task of monitoring them as to why they were travelling during the curfew set down, he said.

Most of them said they were heading home from work or transporting goods and did not intend to violate the curfew, he said.

But for those who were out partying or were outside of their confined spaces without permission from authorities, their activities were recorded and reported to the court for further action.

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