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Maizefarmer

Another Perspective On Thailand's Volunteer Tourist Police

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I don't get in any trouble even on the rare occasions I am on walking street, but I got to agree with the rent-a cop outfits.

No disrespect intended but it makes them look like dweebs trying to hide behind authority they lack.

They seem to be better as a waking info center & like a rent a cop I wouldn't stop if they told me to as they are not real cops. I am not saying there isn't a need for them but ditch the useless uniforms!

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The uniform of any police is used as a deterrent to potential problem makers as well as a person the tourist can turn to if they need assistance. The tourist places everywhere present a gold mine of victims for bag snatch, grab and run thieves etc. Just add my 2 satangs worth.

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I think they volunteer tourist police should all be fitted out with Gold Desert Eagles. First one goes to Lt. Gen. Maj Sgt. Howard.

post-91690-1254145606_thumb.jpg

Who is with me on this one? I know i'm not alone

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I do agree with your comment on the coruption... but the girl did admit she was guilty of the crime and the program did show the sign stating the penatlies for being caught with drugs that tourists see once they get off the boat.

I would say that considering the Laws pertaining to Drug posesion that exist in Thailand, she got off quite light. While I do not like the idea of coruption at all... the corruption in this case was the Thai Police willing to look past the law for a person who amitted that they were guilty of the crime.

This is still bad, but not as bad (in my opinion) as the Police abusing their position to extort money from people who maintain their inocence.

Both are wrong....but only one of the above situations actually contains a true victim. The other contains a person paying a fine for their crime (fitting based upon the crime in this case), the only problem is that the "fine" is going into the wrong pockets.

Yes, she did admit to holding the small piece of grass (it was her BF's and not hers), a quantity so small it wouldn't even warrant a fine in most enlightened countries. And yes this is Thailand and so their laws apply.

The problem in Thailand is ya ba and the destruction this causes. But then the foreigner is perceived to be the one with money so the Thais police shake them down. In this case she and her BF had no money, probably to the disgust of the dirty corrupt police. How many Thais do you think were arrested that night???

Also there were prisoners who told of stories of signing documents with no lawyer nor translator present. it is all too easy for us here in a quiet calm environment to condemn them for signing. It is a totally different matter when you are being institutionally abused and alone.

I don't agree with your interpretation of victims. I believe she is one, like many a foreigner before her, of the Thai police and the dirty corrupt system they operate in cahoots with the prosecutors, judges and jailers. All rotten to the core and a disgrace to their uniforms. and their country.

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The uniform of any police is used as a deterrent to potential problem makers as well as a person the tourist can turn to if they need assistance. The tourist places everywhere present a gold mine of victims for bag snatch, grab and run thieves etc. Just add my 2 satangs worth.

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Fair comment ........... but that is one of the very preconceptions about them that will ultimately undo the good this program has to offer visitors to Thailand

Perceiving the volunteers in that light, and/or "presenting" them to the tourist community in that way is to manipulate the rationale behind their role: they are NOT mean't to be law enforcement officers - they are a "link" between law enforcement and foreign tourists, to help overcome language and cultural barriers, an effort to take out of interaction betwen law enforcement officers and tourists misunderstandings that arise from anability on both sides (both sides - not just the law enforcement side, or the visitors side - both sides).

To use them as law enforcement will be to invite trouble.

Many of comments made on the subject on TV to date are a clear indivcation that their image and role needs to be made clear to the public.

A great idea would be to invite a public policy statement - and what better place than to pin it to Thai Visa (at least for the English speaking community)

Included in that policy statement should be clarification of just the above question i.e. their role, the legislation under which they operate, standard operating procedures .... ect ect ... coverage of all the issues that define the volunteers and the role they play - and I would invite George to seriously think of approaching the volunteers' appointed representative to ask for a policy statement to be made.

What do other TV members think of this?

Edited by Maizefarmer

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I will contact both TPV and FPV and see what we can put together.

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.....

It was pointed out in the post before that they should have T/Polo Shirts or whatever. Going around Pattaya dressed in a T shirt will lose any sense of authority the uniform gives them. this is what the police and military often rely on to control situations....the uniform. Say you see 6 guys in police/military uniform and right beside them 6 guys in T shirts . Both are telling you what to do....who would you listen to first?

But isn't that the point - they don't have any authority. They are not there to 'control the situation', that is the job of the Thai police. The job of the volunteers is to provide a communication bridge between 'drunken northern yob with an unintelligible accent' & a Thai policeman with poor English language skills.

Floral Hawaiian shirts present a non-threatening demeanor in a potentially volatile situation, black para military style uniforms will only inflame any such situation,it's red rag to a bull.

You don't need a paramilitary uniform with all the trappings to direct lost tourists to their hotels, give directions to wherever, raise money for charities & whatever helpful deeds they perform. I would have thought a 2-way radio would be sufficient to call police when they see an incident developing.

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It is very clear to me from both Youtube and having been to WS many times, that most of the guys volunteering for this "job" do it for the perceived "status" it gives them. It also seems that much more scrutiny needs to be applied to the backgrounds and motives of the volunteers. Howie just makes a complete idiot of himself if you ask me.

There defenitely is a role for a "link" between Thai police/Authorities in general and the average tourist in trouble. My (Thai) secretary is my "link" ;-). Any person being a "link" should at least speak Thai and English, have no authority, should have a minimum level of education and be properly prepared/trained to deal with unruly tourists and corrupt authorities alike.

By the way: do the volunteers share in the police honey pot? ;-)

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