Justice Ministry may rule cops
A proposal to bring the Royal Thai Police (RTP) under the control of the Justice Ministry was revealed Thursday and may eventually be submitted to the cabinet for consideration.
A special sub-committee studying policing affairs under the joint whip of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA), discussed some of the proposal details at a news conference on Thursday.
The main purpose of bringing the RTP under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry was to ensure improved integration and cooperation among the various branches of the judicial system, said Pol Lt Col Bunruang Phonphanit, who is the sub-committee chairman.
The police reform proposal will first go to the tripartite whip -- consisting of the cabinet, the NLA and the NRSA -- for approval before it goes to the cabinet for endorsement, he said.
Talking about proposed qualifications for future RTP chiefs, he said, the ideal candidate should have at least two years of experience in investigation work and a work record of having handled or taken part in at least 70 criminal investigations, Pol Lt Col Bunruang said.
Police salaries would rise to a point considered sufficient for them to support their families and boost morale, Pol Lt Col Bunruang said.
A key problem found hindering police's ability to combat crime is a lack of funding, which at times has seen police investigators being forced to dip into their own pockets to cover the costs of their work, he said.
Lack of funds is also blamed for driving certain police officers into "grey areas", he added.
The management of security cameras installed in public places, currently handled by various organisations, will also change with police taking overall control of all cameras for the sake of maintaining law and order, he said.
Speaking about salary increases, an informed source said the pay of non-commissioned police will be 1.28 times higher than those of other civil servants holding the same rank, while the salaries of commissioned police officers will be 1.74 times higher.
This would see the starting salary of a non-commissioned police officer rise to 13,773 baht per month from the current 10,760 baht, while the pay of a commissioned police officer will start from 26,605 baht per month instead of 15,290 baht per month, the source said.