National police chief Pol Gen Torsak Sukwimol has denied that Thai police have sought Chinese counterparts’ patrols in the country, saying that would raise security problems.
Pol Gen Torsak voiced his stance on Monday in response to earlier reports that authorities planned to call Chinese police to patrol in popular tourist areas to boost confidence among Chinese visitors who formed a major source of tourism-related income.
The national police chief said the Royal Thai Police Office did not make the proposal and he thought there was a misunderstanding on the problem.
He said he disagreed with the idea of asking Chinese police to take care of Chinese tourists in Thailand, saying that would breach Thai sovereignty. The Royal Thai Police were already able to protect both residents and tourists, he said.
Pol. Gen. Torsak said he was aware that Chinese police officers had been deployed in Italy, where there were communication issues. “But there is no such problem in Thailand,” he said.
The police chief said relevant officials had discussed a coordination centre where Thai and Chinese officials could jointly handle criminal problems concerning China.
“It is necessary to exchange knowledge about culprits and crimes. The collaboration is continuing,” Pol Gen Torsak said. “Officials were assigned for the coordination and usually they are Chinese police officers who supervise the Chinese embassy in Thailand.”
According to earlier reports, the idea to invite Chinese police to jointly conduct patrols with Thai counterparts in tourist destinations was raised during a meeting of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin with representatives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Central Investigation Bureau, the Immigration Police and Tourism Police.
The prime minister chaired the meeting at Suvarnabhumi airport on Sunday before he went for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco.
Officials discussed the idea because it was implemented in Italy. They expected the idea to help promote Thailand as a popular location for Chinese tourists.