WITH the announcement of the amendment of police regulations on fingerprinting on May 27, 2023 which in the past led to fingerprinted suspects having a criminal background thus unable to apply for a job despite the charges having later being dropped against them the police are now rushing to clear the record of 13 million Thais thus affected, TV Channel 7 said today (June 27).
Mr. Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, head of Thammasat University’s law faculty, said the unamended regulation led to suspects against whom charges were later dropped or who had died to continue having criminal record.
To remove their name from the listing they had to prove that it was a wrongful arrest or the suspect had died.
Discussions between relevant agencies including the courts, prosecutors and the police discovered that it was the police who were directly involved in this listing.
Each year there are more than 800,000 criminal cases involving more than 13 million Thais, or one in every six Thai citizens, and they previously all were listed as having a criminal record.
Three categories of suspects and offenders benefit from the amendment of the police regulation as follows:
– Those accused of committing a crime but their case has either not been filed in court or is still proceeding their background should not been revealed except for investigation purpose or in applying for a job with the Royal Household Bureau or the government;
– A non-criminal offender who has been sentenced by court to not more than one month imprisonment or is waiting for the sentence to be handed down or the penalty is only a fine and detention, with negligence offences being in this category, their background may not be revealed except for investigation work or as required under the law;
– A criminal record is for those who have been handed down a final sentence by court to more than one month imprisonment with this taking place with immediate effect except for crimes occurring through negligence.
Deputy National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, nicknamed Big Joke, said after the amended regulation came into effect a month ago the criminal record of more than 10 million people had been deleted. There now remain 3.7 million records to be resolved.
Those affected could contact police stations nationwide to clean their record with police patrols too having also delivered notices to 600,000 people so affected at their residence.
In addition police are in the process of setting up a website where people could check their criminal background on their own with this expected to be ready by end of July.
Deputy National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, left, and Mr. Prinya Thaewanarumitkul. Photos: Thai Rath