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Authorities in Thailand Seek to Encourage More Law and Order

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are just sort of talking generally about what I have noticed as a change in thinking, maybe not a change in thinking, but a more pro-active approach by Authorities in the Kingdom with respect to basically, for lack of a better term,  Law and Order issues here in the Kingdom.

I have talked a lot about this in the context of Immigration; this video is not talking specifically in the context of Immigration. I just find it interesting that generally this whole trend seems to be something that, again this pro-active approach to encouraging law and order just seems to be kind of an “across the board” thing, at least here in Bangkok.

A recent article from the Bangkok Post, that is bangkokpost.com, the title is: “Grand Palace Touts Nabbed”.  Quoting directly, “Almost 90 people have been rounded up in a joint operation to restore law and order around the Grand Palace following complaints about foreign visitors being pressured to purchase services they do not require.” Quoting further, “A total of 87 people were arrested in the operation of which 68 were booked for violating traffic regulations and 19 others were charged with creating a nuisance in public areas. Another group of 52 people were also detained and warned not to engage in fraudulent activities that could tarnish the country's image and possibly hurt the tourism industry.”  

Folks who read sort of forums about Thailand or go on line and read about living in Thailand and things, discussion about the sort of ubiquitous scammers near the Grand Palace is pretty common. I have seen it a lot on line. It is almost discussed, it is almost like a cliché about living in the city. What I find interesting about this is this just seems to me to be one piece of a greater whole with respect to how things are changing with respect to the attitude of Government and law enforcement authorities here in the Kingdom, how they are prioritizing things. I would almost liken this to, if you look back in the United States when Rudolph Giuliani became the Mayor of New York City, there was a program that he enacted where they began really taking a hard line on small time, like minor petty crime; things like people that were jumping the turnstiles in subways, minor graffiti, things like that. The theory was, and I don’t know if this is totally valid, but it does seem to have some overall validity, but the theory was that if you were catching the minor crime you were essentially forestalling those perpetrators from engaging in more egregious behavior, more egregious activity, and you were also sort of setting a general tone in the environment that that kind of activity is not going to be tolerated. Now I don’t know if there is an overarching paradigm in Thailand or Bangkok specifically with respect to this but it would seem that authorities here in the Kingdom are taking an increasingly harder line on things that could be considered “petty”; things like relatively small immigration infractions, overstaying in the Kingdom, which was once considered sort of regulatory and something you could just sort of bob off. Now overstaying is rather seriously punished in many cases. Again, this isn’t just focused on foreigners. Again these “touts” if you will, are clearly being, perhaps not targeted, but they are cracking down on some of these things and I think there might be sort of a broader initiative, a broader policy initiative perhaps not too dissimilar to the one instituted by Rudolph Giuliani for good or for ill, I am not really discussing the merits of the theory but again the theory being, going after a sort of more petty crime results in an overall reduction in crime in a given jurisdiction as a whole because you are basically keeping folks from engaging in more egregious behavior, as I said before, and you are also promoting overall an environment of law and order.