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Police in a station in Bangkok are doing something very different to the usual crime and punishment roles that are associated with police stations. In a room that has been modified as a classroom, fifty kids between the ages of six and fourteen have been enjoying a project called “Leave Your Children in the Care of the Police.
The project at the Buppharstarted police station started on the 1st of April and will run until the 25th. It was designed to give working parents, with no time to watch over their pre teens during the holiday break, an alternative to leaving them unsupervised. The service was offered free of charge and even included a free lunch.
The project was initiated by local police officers and community leaders after Metropolitan Police Bureau’s Division 8 chief Pol Maj-General Rasadakorn Yingyong came up with the idea to protect children from vice and drugs said Buppharam superintendent Pol Colonel Yutthana Pooncharas.
The children were taught academic subjects in the morning and self-defense and social etiquette during the afternoons as well as taking field trips. Yutthana said that this project allowed parents to go to work safe in the knowledge that their children were being taken good care of and the police have had very positive feedback from both the parents and the children, many of whom have been behaving better since entering the project.
A parent in his 40s, Saengthong Klangchaisri, said the project was very good and constructive as the children were taught to protect themselves, while also helping them revise their academic subjects.
“If the police had not come up with this project, the children would not have anything constructive to do and might end up getting misled by ill-intentioned people. I don’t have much time to spend with my children as I’m always working,” he added.
Another parent Arporn Vieaksiam, 46, said her son woke up early every day so he could attend the project, adding that this was so different from forcing him to wake up to go to school. She added that this project should expand to other communities nationwide so the safety of all children can be ensured during summer vacations.
Fifth grader Wipharat Kolachart said she was having a lot of fun at the police station because she could play and learn at the same time. Also, she said, the different field trips provided her with hands-on knowledge.
Polyarit Linkaew, another fifth grader, said he was glad to be learning about the dangers of narcotic substances and would share this knowledge with his friends.