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Thai Police and Personal Security in Chiangmai

Date : June 20,2013
By : Admin

Thailand is like everywhere I suppose; if you have half a brain and use it you should be just fine. I know of people who abuse alcohol and drugs and wind up in bad situations but that is to be expected.

Thailand is also a place of very diametrical circumstances. Generally, the people, young and old are the sweetest, kindest you would ever want to know and then something just snaps and you get this horror story to follow.

After I lived in ChiangMai about one year I lived in town in an apartment building of about 30 units. I came downstairs one morning and saw most of the residents all crowded along the entrance all watching me as I stopped at the bottom of the stairs. Someone pushed me aside from behind and I saw what looked like a ball of laundry being carried through the lobby and then thrown into the back of a pickup. I looked around confused until I caught sight of someone I knew and they were mouthing the word, ‘die’. When I finally understood what they were saying I took another look towards the ‘laundry’ and it hit me that there was a body in the sheets. A young lady had been murdered a few days prior by her boyfriend and she had just been discovered. The police caught him a few days later and marched him through the reenactment in our building. This is standard procedure.

I have never seen a ‘police chase’ in Thailand even though I have lived here almost 30 years. Well I did once: it was a motorcycle cop chasing a blue Mercedes with a woman driving. That was very odd. My guess is he was transferred to the Cambodian front soon after that. It appears that police checkpoints normally suffice since they seem to be everywhere.

Personally I have never been involved in any kind of crime while living here, but I read often of those who have and I think there are people who just put themselves in bad circumstances. A little bit of common sense should be enough to insure your safety in most situations. For example don’t flash money around. Don’t buy drugs here. There are people here who make a living turning you in to the police.

I have been stopped several times for speeding on the open road and have had to pay a fine of $10 or less per incident however it does not go on your permanent record so far as insurance is concerned. Accidents, if they are reported, do raise your insurance rates however.

Many years ago I was an English teacher and one of my colleagues had his bag stolen while riding his motorcycle by 2 guys on a motorcycle who drove alongside and lifted his bag out of the basket in front. It just so happened two police officers were coming thru the intersection at the same time and saw the incident occur. What happened next I read in one of the local English papers at the time: the police chased the two out of town and into a rice field where their motorcycle fell over because of the soft dirt and one rider immediately fired at the police with a 9mm pistol as they caught up and then the police returned fire shooting the first guy right between the eyes. The second rider ran several steps towards the trees and turned and fired, also with a 9 mm pistol and was also hit by police return fire right between the eyes. How feasible is this? Welcome to Thailand!