Five Thai police stations will soon be using a bilingual police report and signs for British nationals and other English-speaking tourists in many of its police stations.
The idea for a bilingual report came from feedback the British Embassy received from Consular customers, who found that language differences were making it difficult for them to engage with the Thai Police. Currently, signs and instructions on how to fill out police reports are not available in English so there are risks of misunderstandings or that important details are missing from police reports. As a result the Embassy has seen an increase in the number of requests for help with translation from British nationals at police stations.
Working with Thai police, the British Embassy has created signs and forms for police stations in both Thai and English. These bilingual materials should reduce the confusion and anxiety created by language barriers and further encourage English-speaking tourists to report incidents to the police.
Deputy Head of Mission for the British Embassy Bangkok, Ms Margaret Tongue, says:
“Thailand is a very popular destination for British tourists and the vast majority of visits are trouble-free. We work closely with the Thai authorities to ensure the best possible support for those who do encounter difficulties. Providing bilingual report forms will ensure clear communication between the affected tourists and the Thai police, and provide security to both sides that they have the right information. I look forward to hearing about the positive impacts from this pilot project, and to continued effective working together with the Thai authorities.”
Pol.Lt.Col. Nanichara Aphithanakhun, Inspector (Administration) at Thong Lor Police Station, says:
The Thai Police stations welcome this initiatives by the British Embassy, Bangkok. The ideas are fresh, innovative and simple that tackle the core of common issues often find in Thai police stations when dealing with foreigners.
We believe that having the bi-lingual police report form and clear English instruction signs will support the distressed British nationals and other foreign nationals in need of our service. We are pleased to be chosen as pilot police stations and keen to be perceived “foreigner friendly” as we receive more visitors each year.
To begin with, the bilingual police report will be introduced at five pilot sites: Suvarnabhumi Airport Police Station, Don Muang Airport Sub Police Station, Thong Lor Police Station, Chanasongkram Police Station (Khaosan Road) and Muang Chiangmai Provincial Police Station. These sites were identified as having high numbers of British nationals visiting
British Embassy Bangkok