Police reform bill review 'next month'
published : 26 Jan 2021 at 04:00
newspaper section: News
writer: Post Reporters
A draft bill on police reforms is expected to be submitted for review by parliament next month, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told the Senate yesterday.
He said the cabinet has completed its review of the proposed changes, and that the bill will be on its way for a parliamentary deliberation soon.
"The draft bill is hoped to bring more transparency and efficiency to the police force," said Mr Wissanu, who is also the government's expert on legal affairs. He was picked by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to answer the Senate's questions on the issue.
The deputy premier yesterday shared the key points of the bill with the Senate, which had asked the government for an update on police reform efforts.
Under the bill, the police force's human resources management will be overseen by an ethics and morality protection committee, which will include individuals outside of the Royal Thai Police (RTP) structure. A new body will also be set up to review complaints against police officers.
Another key aspect of the reforms, said Mr Wissanu, is that appointments and promotions will be based on seniority, as well as knowledge, past performance and behaviour.
The bill, if approved, will open the doors for members of the public to evaluate the performance of officers at their local police stations. However, Mr Wissanu said, the mechanism for evaluation will be worked out by the Police Commission later.
The deputy prime minister stressed that the proposed changes mainly relate to the management of the police force and that they were not designed to address specific crimes or vices.
"It won't eliminate injustice and crime, but I believe the proposed reforms will help keep the police in line," he said.
Mr Wissanu said public confidence in the management of the police force is low because to date, the National Police Act has been revised nine times -- with reforms often rolled back not long after they were introduced.
"We hope the mechanism for scrutiny [under the police reform bill] will be good and effective, which will make the police force good and effective too," he told the Senate.