BANGKOK, 10 July 2014 – Authorities on Wednesday promised improvement to safety measures for train passengers, following public outcry over the rape and murder of a child on a train traveling from Nakhon Si Thammarat to Bangkok.
Police General Ek Angsananon, deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, has told the Railway Police Division to immediately implement measures against crime on board trains. He also ordered an investigation into the absence of a Railway Police patrol on the train where the crime took place.
State Railway of Thailand Governor Praphat Chongsa-nguan said the State Railway will take responsibility for what has occurred. He disclosed that a committee has been set up to investigate how the perpetrator of the crime managed to be hired by the State Railway despite his criminal record related to drug abuse. He promised scrutiny into the history of all temporary employees currently working for the SRT. Mr. Praphat also said closed circuit cameras will be installed on trains and the SRT will request additional policemen to be deployed on trains.
Meanwhile, Soithip Traisut, the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Transport, said she was working to bring into use new ministerial regulations that would ban the sale and consumption of alcohol on trains and at all train and bus stations. The new regulations, once finalized, will be immediately proposed to the National Council for Peace and Order for enforcement.
The Prachuap Khirikhan Provincial Police, which have jurisdiction over the area where the 13-year-old victim’s body was found, have promised to quickly prosecute the perpetrator due to the serious nature of the crime. The perpetrator, an employee of the State Railway of Thailand, confessed on Wednesday to the girl’s rape and murder, as well as two prior rapes he committed earlier this year on two State Railway employees who also worked on board trains.