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Bangkok bikers jailed

Published: 13 February 2008

Spotted this article in last weeks BANGKOK POST here in BANGKOK.

COURTS MOTORCYCLISTS SENTENCED
One month's jail puts brakes on road racers
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POST REPORTERS
The Dusit district court yesterday sentenced 140 motorcycle riders and their supporters lo one month in jail for racing on a public road.
The motorcycle riders and their friends, 117 males and 23 females aged over 18, were rounded up at 2am on Sunday while racing nn Kama VI road. They were charged with causing a disturbance, organising an illegal race and bloc king other cars from using the road.
After pleading guilty, they were sentenced to one month in prison. Almost 200 mocorcycles which were confiscated in the police crackdown were seized.
The courl ruling left some parents, who crowded into the court, bewildered. Some complained that the punish in eni was too severe, adding that their children were not criminals.
Ninety of the racers were released on bail and the rest sent to a central prison in Pathum Thani.
The raid also resulted in (he arrest of another 108 teenagers, 74 males and 34 females aged 13-17, who were sent to special institutions to undergo a behavioural change programme for five days.
The boys were sent to Ban Menu remand home and the girls in Ban France remand home. All were denied bail.
Several parents were ou(raged that
About 2OO motorcycles were confiscated during Sunday night's police crackdown on illegal street racing. They are parked in front ollhe PhayaThai police station. Up to 248 youngsters were rounded jp in the crackdown.
their children were detained, saying the children were wrongfully arrested.
Some claimed that Iheirchildren had gone to buy groceries when they were rounded up.
Paisal Wichiankua, chief of the Voulh Observation and Protection Department, yesierday told the parents (here was a need to detain the children despite their parents being upset when their requests for bail were rejected.
He said officials needed to instil some discipline in them and the parents would take pan in the behaviour change programme in [he last three days.
During the first two days the detainees would receive psychological consulla-tions to find the causes of their problems, Mr Paisal said.
"The officials do not mean to torture the children. The children might not be happy but they will live as decent kids
throughout the five-day programme," he said. He added that temporary releases would be allowed if (he children had to take exams or had health problems.
According to Mr Paisal, the reasons why young people engage in illegal activities has changed over the past 10 years. About 40% took pan in illegal activities to appease their peers, he said, adding that in the past teens were forced into illegal acts by family problems.
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