Government sets up operation centre to tackle homeless and begging problems in capital

The government has set up an operation centre to regulate homeless people and wandering beggars in the capital. The centre began operation with a total of 120 people rounded up in the first week of this month.

Government spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the centre, to be called Social Assistance Centre, was set up on instruction of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha in order to resolve the problem of homeless people and wandering beggars in the streets of Bangkok from the roots.

The centre now has 10 teams of officials going out on the streets to find these people.

Since March 1-7, he said a total of 120 homeless people and wandering beggars were rounded up.

They included 58 beggars and 62 homeless people.

Of the 120 people rounded up, 29 are foreign nationals.

The spokesman said all these people were sent to the Ban Maitree halfway home in Bangkok and the homeless facility in Nonthaburi for screening.

Those who went through the screening and found to be Thais, they will be given physical and mental rehabilitation and provided with occupational training so they can be employed and reintegrated into society.

But for those found to be mentally sick, they will be sent to special psychiatric institutes for treatment, he said.

However for those who were found to be foreign nationals, they will be repatriated.

The spokesman said Prime Minister Prayut has said that the operation was just a solution of the problem at the wrong end and would like the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to cooperate with relevant government agencies to look at the root cause of the problem at the family level.

They should find ways to prevent family violence, drugs, family economy, unintended pregnancy, and also seek cooperation from the people to act as eyes and ears and report the Social Assistance Centre at Tel 1300 around the clock.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)