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Thailand to recruit first women police officers

Thailand's Royal Police Academy is admitting female cadets for the first time in its 107 year history, but it will be four years before they graduate and start work.

By Thomas Bell in Bangkok

Last Updated: 6:44AM GMT 23 Jan 2009

The 250,000 strong Thai police force has only a small number of women members, all of them in office support and computer roles.

The first class of female cadets will include just 70 students and has attracted hundreds of applicants. After four years of training including military style courses in parachuting and jungle survival the successful among them will graduate as sub-lieutenants.

They will then be assigned to cases involving women and children.

"Female victims of crime will feel more comfortable with a female officer," said Police Lieutenant General Amarin Akarawong, the academy's director, explaining the radical break with tradition.

Some of the female hopefuls have other aspirations for their police careers. "I want to arrest drug traffickers in [my home district of] Surat Thani," 18 year old Kanokwan Pankaew told the Bangkok Post.

"There are many drug users and sellers in my community."

Kanokporn Niyom, also 18 years old, who travelled hours by bus to submit her application, said she wanted to join the police to combat political corruption. "The country would be much better without corrupt politicians," she said. "Women can do more than a desk job. We are as capable as men."

To be accepted onto the course applicants must run a kilometre in under seven minutes and swim 50 metres in three minutes.

"I have improved my fitness since last November when I learned that the academy will take female students. I swim and run every week," said Miss Kanokporn.

Thailand has 1,444 police stations and senior officers ultimately hope to have one woman officer at every station. At the proposed rate of recruitment that goal will take many years to realise and Thailand's first women police officers will initially be posted only to major centres.

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The first class of female cadets will include just 70 students and has attracted hundreds of applicants. After four years of training including military style courses in parachuting and jungle survival the successful among them will graduate as sub-lieutenants.

They will then be assigned to cases involving women and children.

/../

To be accepted onto the course applicants must run a kilometre in under seven minutes and swim 50 metres in three minutes.

Not really high demands...one can walk fast and still manage 1km in 7min. Back home short tests was 3km at 12min and a longer could be 8km with gear (backpack) in 42min.

But I'm happy to see that they are opening the doors for woman on a big scale. Let's just hope they are both trained and used as normal officers and not segmented away as some secondary division of officers.

Even if I find it odd that police officers would need parachuting or jungle survival training, but whatever...however sadly it might be the case where the female officers have to do a fairly rough basic training only to graduate to become glorified desk clerks/investigators of typical female/child cases from behind a desk. Hope not...

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The first class of female cadets will include just 70 students and has attracted hundreds of applicants. After four years of training including military style courses in parachuting and jungle survival the successful among them will graduate as sub-lieutenants.

Parachute training? Should be useful in Sukhumvit at rush hour.

Jungle Survival? Must be going to Pattaya then

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Wonder how many expats will complain if a WiB tries to give them a ticket (and how many will try hitting on the WiB for a date). :o

If the MiBs are BiBs wouldn't the WiBs be GiBs?

I would certainly hope that they still would be B(abes)IB,s :D

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Wonder how many expats will complain if a WiB tries to give them a ticket (and how many will try hitting on the WiB for a date). :o

If the MiBs are BiBs wouldn't the WiBs be GiBs?

I would certainly hope that they still would be B(abes)IB,s :D

It used to be they were referred to as the Boys in Tight Brown, which was shortened to Boys in Brown.

Hopefully the WiBs will be known as the Babes in Tight Brown ! Cuff me baby ! :D

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Interesting. My guess is that in addition to their women and children duties, they will be assigned to work in heavily traveled tourist areas. Maybe even a "Koban" system similar to Japan. Also, I suspect that they will not be on patrol at night unless with 1 or 2 male officers.

TheWalkingMan

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