Monday, 3 March 2008

Interview with a Thai Policeman

I've just read an interesting article by Steve Cleary who does a two part interview with a Thai Policeman here and here.

This man is putting his life on the line for £260 per month busting drug dealers. He has to work an 8hr shift every day of the month with no time off, doesn't get any choice over where in the country works and seems to have to buy most of his own equipment.

I thought I would quote the bit below:

Many foreigners want to know this one in regards to policemen’s guns, bikes, uniforms etc… – What is Free and What is not?

The motorbike is free (patrol police = 2 cops/1 bike) but at the end of our shift we have to return the bike to the station. Only if we have special permission from our bosses can we take the thing home. As for petrol, we get 1,200baht in allowance each month (for one bike) but this is no way enough, on average we spend around 100 baht a day on gas. When we become a cop we get a gun for free, but because it is usually old and scrappy, if we have the money, we buy our own. If we lose it (same goes for the bike, walkie-talkie etc…) we have to pay for it and the police force charges us cops the full-price for anything lost. Take this battered police walkie-talkie which is probably worth just 3-4,000 baht (he shows me) if I lose it, I have to pay around 18,000 for it!
The police do have to pay for their own bullets (1 = 38baht) but in the case of special gun training we are given them for free. As for uniforms and boots etc…. we have to pay for all that out of our own pockets. One uniform costs around 1,800baht and a pair of boots is 1,500

I'm not making any judgements about where this is fair or not, better or worse than the Police in other countries, I just thought it was pretty interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Read the same post and found it really interesting. I had no idea that got paid such a small amount and had to pay for their own stuff and GET NO TIME OFF! No wonder they levy their own "taxes".