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Thai police remove over 9.3 million names from criminal record files

PHOTO: Stickboy BKK

Thailand’s deputy national police chief says over 9.3 million names have been removed from the country’s criminal record files. Surachate Hakparn says this is because the individuals have been acquitted after being found not guilty or they have paid a fine or been given a mild sentence by the courts.

According to a Thai PBS World report, Surachate says the criminal record files used to hold the names of some 13 million individuals. Of the approximately 9.3 million whose names have now been removed, around 600,000 have been informed.

The deputy national police chief adds that the authorities are working on a website which will allow people to check if their names appear on police criminal record files, or if they have been removed. The site is expected to go live at the end of the year. If an individual’s name is still on the criminal record files, it’s because their case is still pending, according to Surachate.

The director of Thammasat University’s Law Centre has welcomed the move. Assistant Professor Dr. Prinya Thaewanarumitkul says removing someone’s name from the files will mean they can apply for and take up employment in the private or public sector.

According to the Thai PBS World report, there are currently 3 types of criminal record file. The first is for those who face charges, but have not yet been indicted, or have cases that are still pending. These records are confidential and unavailable to the public.

The second file is also confidential and holds the names of individuals who’ve already been convicted but who are not considered criminals. These would be people who have received a one-month prison term, paid a fine, received a suspended jail sentence, or been found guilty of carelessness.

Finally, the third type of file is for people who’ve been convicted and received a prison sentence of more than one month, with the exception of offences of carelessness.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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