BANGKOK (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Feeling stressed at the police station?
One policeman in Thailand is providing free massages to ease visitors’ stress when they file a complaint or report at the police station.
This service is provided only at Nong Trud station in Muang district, Trang province, according to the local media.
Lieutenant Pakronkrit Thongsuk, who is reportedly a professionally trained Thai-massage practitioner, began offering massages to visitors to the police station after noticing that many of them were visibly stressed.
The 58-year-old then launched a “Massage to Relieve Distress” scheme to make visitors’ experience at the police station more tolerable.
As a front-line officer, he regularly meets people who need to file reports at the station, said the Bangkok Post.
Visitors are offered a glass of cold water and a herbal candy of their choice, which Lt Pakronkrit claims can soothe a variety of ailments, reported local media.
If he sees visitors looking particularly stressed, he will ask the visitors for permission to massage their neck and head for about 10 to 15 minutes.
“Visits to a station are not exactly a walk in the park, so anything that we can do to relieve their stress levels will help,” the local media quoted him as saying.
However, he feels that his scheme does not receive enough attention from his superiors, who tend to focus on crime-busting investigators rather than officers on desk duty.
Lt Pakronkrit also takes part in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education programme, which aims to tackle drug abuse in schools.
Under the programme, police are sent to educate students in schools about the dangers of drugs and raise drug awareness.
As an instructor, Lt Pakronkrit gets paid 3,900 baht (S$151) per school term.
However, he donates his pay to the school where he teaches and contributes an additional 100 baht of his own money towards the school’s development, according to The Bangkok Post.
He moved to Trang in southern Thailand after his wife became the director of a local school in Muang district.
He began working as a non-commissioned officer, then rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant.
After a couple of years, he saved enough money to pay for the traditional massage training.
And he is looking to make a career of it when he retires from the police force in three years.
Lt Pakronkrit was quoted in The Bangkok Post as saying that Thai massage is world-renowned as it soothes physical and emotional stress.
By giving massages at the police station, he is able to gain experience for his post-retirement job.