10:13am UK, Friday April 02, 2010
A Thai police force has begun taking a monkey dressed in officer’s uniform on patrol each day to help improve relations with Muslim separatists.
Other forces are said to be considering enlisting a monkey to improve their image
The five-year-old pig-tailed macaque was adopted after policemen in Yaha province in southern Thailand found him injured with a broken arm.
Trainers taught Santisuk, which means peace in Thai, to pick up coconuts and he now lends a hand collecting the fruit with residents.
The monkey also helps supervise a police checkpoint and his boss says he has made it a much happier place.
Motorists now stop to play with Santisuk, rather than getting angry at the hold-up.
Other forces are now considering introducing monkeys to better their image in the troubled province.
Separatists are blamed for most of the attacks in Thailand’s predominantly Muslim deep south.
Buddhists and Muslims associated with the Thai state – such as police, soldiers, government officials and teachers – are often targeted.
Itâ€™s ok to laugh but in this time of uncertainty, increased crime and loss of respect to police in the field, new innovative thinking is essential. More power to our brothers overseas to think up creative new ways to establish good public relations with the citizens they server on a daily basis.