Police pay rises to be removed from chief

A police reform panel has proposed that annual pay rises be considered by committees instead of by the national police chief.

Gen Boonsang Niempradit, who heads the panel, said the suggested change is to ensure that pay rises are fair and well thought-out. At present they are decided at the discretion of one man.

If the change is approved, legal amendments would be required.

However, Gen Boonsang cautioned that the committees asked to review pay rises are likely to be made up largely of police officers because this is an internal police affair.

When asked whether police should be allowed to vote to select their national chief, Gen Boonsang said he disagreed with the idea.

Such a policy may result in a popular “elected” leader but not necessarily one that was up to the challenge, he said.

The idea was suggested by the police reform committee’s sub-panel on social communication after it gathered input.

Gen Boonsang said his committee is likely to a stick to a proposal that would have the outgoing police chief nominate his replacement, with the Police Commission approving or rejecting the chosen figure.

At present the commission makes a nomination and forwards it to the Royal Thai Police (RTP) board for approval.

He said the panel has yet to decide on several issues including the role of prosecutors in a police investigation, which he said requires further study.

Gen Boonsang brushed off criticism the reform committee is making slow progress and rejected news reports about internal conflicts hampering its work.

He said the committee will complete its mission six months.

However, the bill on police reform is unlikely to be passed in time for this year’s police reshuffle because it will be proposed to the cabinet for review before it goes to the National Legislative Assembly for scrutiny, he said.

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