Police officers across the country will undergo mental health screening to prevent a recurrence of a 27-hour police siege at a house in Bangkok this week.
Pol Lt Gen Waratchai Srirattanawut, head of the Office of Inspector General (OIG), has assigned medical teams to conduct random health checks on officers of the Metropolitan Police Bureau and provincial police stations, to ensure public safety and increase work efficiency, Pol Maj Gen Sanatee Prayoonrat, OIG spokesman, said on Thursday.
People can lodge complaints with the Jaray Complaint Management System (JCoMs) if they come across officers who appear to be mentally disturbed, added the spokesman.
The mental health screening order followed an incident in Bangkok's Sai Mai district where a 51-year-old police inspector, Pol Lt Col Kittikarn Saengbun, had been firing shots into the air and inside his house since Tuesday morning before the siege ended on Wednesday. The officer succumbed to his injuries on the same night.
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri on Thursday said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed regret over the death of the police inspector as he did not want to see any loss of life.
Gen Prayut ordered the national police chief, Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, to remedy affected households in Sai Mai and instructed all police units to monitor the conduct of their officers to prevent a repeat of such the incident, said Mr Anucha.
More than 20 families were affected by the officer’s gun firing that prompted the deployment of police commandos and task force officers to the site, said the spokesman.
Pol Lt Col Kittikarn, a native of Lamphun, had previously worked at the Narcotics Suppression Sub-Division 2, before being moved to the Police Education Bureau in 2019. Last year, he was transferred to the Special Branch Bureau. It was reported that he had sought mental health treatment at a hospital in Chiang Mai. He stayed at this rented townhouse alone.