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Law Enforcement

By AlanBW
Part of our stay in Thailand took us to the coastal resort of Pattaya, approximately 165 km south east of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand. Famous – or should that be infamous – for a very raunchy nightlife, Pattaya is every bit as interesting by day if you enjoy observing people. The two images above were taken three days apart but from the same vantage point. On Tuesdays and Fridays there is a local market held in the city – markets are a magnet for us, not only for the goods on offer, but also for the sights and sounds of market life. The market is busy, bustling and hot – so we took regular breaks for liquid refreshment, in particular the local beer. Well, someone’s got to support the local brewers!

On both days, while Tricia was busy scouring the market stalls, I took the opportunity to stroll the short distance to the main road to do some people watching – and on both occasions I was entertained royally by the local traffic police, who were having a purge on motor cyclists. In image 1 a heavily tattooed and shirtless tourist had been stopped – he was wearing a crash helmet so that wasn’t the problem. Perhaps he’d committed a moving traffic offence such as riding over a shadow or a crack in the road, but for whatever reason, he was stopped. Just as we have seen before in Bangkok, he had to hand over his ignition key and after the formalities of paperwork had to make his way to the nearest police station to pay a fine. In the meantime, his motor cycle was immobilised. In Bangkok we have seen taxis and tuk-tuks clamped and the drivers having to go off to pay their dues at the police station. Image 2 was captured three days earlier from exactly the same corner, but on this occasion it was local motor cyclists who were being targeted. Once again, I was unable to ascertain the reasons. Both images were captured from across the road, so I had to be patient and wait for suitable breaks in traffic.

The police action attracted much attention from locals and visitors alike and I particularly liked the expressions of the two visitors in image 1, as well as the totally fed up countenance of the motor cyclist. The guy in the colourful t-shirt and the white rimmed sunglasses in image 2 was assisting the police by gathering up the ignition keys in the bag slung across his shoulder and returning them as the victims of the purge came back with documentary proof that they had paid their fine. He was also responsible for immobilising the motor cycles and reversing the process at the appropriate time.

We dubbed Pattaya’s finest ‘the happy policemen’ - because they certainly loved their work!

Tags: Street photography Photo journalism Travel Candid People Thailand Pattaya Portraits and people Traffic police Motor cyclists

Voters: wyatturp, KBan, BBB and 157 more

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wyatturp 15 2 England
21 Apr 2008 8:20AM
Good street picture Alan well done-have a good week

BBB 13 2 England
21 Apr 2008 8:26AM
Aint it the same the world over. Well caught Alan.
bayleaf 13 8 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 8:27AM
Good candids.

21 Apr 2008 8:31AM
Excellent candid captures Alan, nice write up,
dawnmichelle 13 12 United States
21 Apr 2008 8:37AM
excellent candid shots!!!
luxaeternam 13 21 1
21 Apr 2008 8:56AM
Maybe the nazi flag on the crash helmet in #1 had something to do with it. The bloke looks like a skinhead.
I love the uniforms the police officers have. Cool boots!
Smile Lucy
21 Apr 2008 8:57AM
Looks like a nice liitle earner scheme/scam ( I can't spell!!!!). Nice to see th efaces and wondering what they're thinking. JNC
Richsr 14 91 223 England
21 Apr 2008 9:00AM
Nice candids Alan - looks like an interesting spot to watch people and events.
Regards Richard.
ripleysalien 14 1.2k 11 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 9:02AM
In 2 the cop on the left must be worried about his hight, look at his thick soles compared to the other cop, hehe

jaktis Plus
17 84 Sweden
21 Apr 2008 9:14AM
Interesting photojournalism

fentiger 19 920 24 England
21 Apr 2008 9:21AM
Top class candid photography. The chap in the white shirt at the back doesn't look happy with you.

21 Apr 2008 9:25AM
Two nice shots Alan, well done.

pascalg Plus
13 37 1 France
21 Apr 2008 9:56AM
that is street photography !

interesting, fun...
full of details too (swastika on the helmet !)
norton 17 2 6 Jersey
21 Apr 2008 10:15AM
Nice set of street photo's Alan,well spotted and captured...........

challicew 13 1 1 South Africa
21 Apr 2008 10:20AM
Excellent street images! Such is life hey!!!
AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Apr 2008 10:27AM
Wow, many thanks Doug, Wilf, John, Fred, Dawn, Lucy, Jean Noel, Richard, Steve, Peter, Albert, Dougie, Pascal, Tony and Challice; very much appreciated - Alan
gary_d 13 576 13 Wales
21 Apr 2008 10:28AM
Nice candid. - gary
lonely_oryx 13 61 55 England
21 Apr 2008 10:50AM
Great shots
21 Apr 2008 11:28AM
Very good candid great colours.
Joline Plus
14 34 59 United States
21 Apr 2008 12:15PM
They must keep very busy...maybe they work on commission.
AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Apr 2008 12:18PM
Many thanks Gary, John, Will and Joline - Alan
21 Apr 2008 12:51PM
good photo journalism,traffic police same every where
imander 14 388 7 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 3:16PM
really great piece of street photography and your descriptions are so well written
daffydill56 17 190 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 3:57PM
A lovely description Alan, and fabulous street shot.

AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Apr 2008 4:04PM
Many thanks Ian, Peter and Fran - Alan
microchip 13 1 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 4:32PM
Great candids here Alan an excellent write up,and some super detail with bags of interest
in the capture.
riprap007 16 1.6k 37 England
21 Apr 2008 4:35PM
good street togging Smile the police certainly look uncompromising!
piccy 14 8 Wales
21 Apr 2008 5:33PM
This street photography looks good fun. Two lovely candids. A lovely moment in time.
VNelson 16 3 United States
21 Apr 2008 5:42PM
For some reason my eye is attracted to the presumably local guy who is so unconcerned about the process in the first shot.

The supposed liberal city of Berkeley here in California is renowned for issuing parking citations. It's a huge part of the city budget...$30-$50 a pop.
bunbeam 15 2 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 5:49PM
I thought he was naked at first and that was why he was being arrested lol.. 2 brilliant candid shots
danbrann 16 640 17
21 Apr 2008 5:53PM
In no2 I think he is just asking the girl for her phone number.
Street photography at ts best.
AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Apr 2008 5:55PM
Many thanks Alan, Nicholas, Freda, Verne, Bun and Dan - Alan
Richard707 14 14 United States
21 Apr 2008 6:14PM
Interesting shots. Nice candids.
User_Removed 13 78 1 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 6:27PM
Good work and story
ketch 13 770 50 Turks And Caicos Islands
21 Apr 2008 6:32PM
Great street level candid shots - lots of interest and intrigue - could the fat that he was wearing the helmet have been the issue - were do the Thai police stand on Nazi regalia I wonder?

PS I am intrigued by the Irawat Clinic - and the pictures toward the bottom of the poster - could it be a clinic for tattoo removal!!
Bodiewil 13 46 Wales
21 Apr 2008 6:35PM
Great work Alan, like them both

AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Apr 2008 6:53PM
Many thanks Richard, Dave, Robert and Dave - Alan
susanbarton 13 11 1 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 6:54PM
Perhaps they were queuing up to have in fill injections at the clinic lol lol

Great pictures tell a story

Glostopcat 15 255 2 England
21 Apr 2008 7:09PM
Two excellent candids Alan, plenty to see in both, you've captured the moment superbly. It was a good job the police didn't see you taking the photographs as you may have copped it and ended up getting a fine yourself!
Rende 14 38 4 Netherlands
21 Apr 2008 8:18PM
Very interesting candids Alan, plus an interesting description of what was going on.
21 Apr 2008 8:22PM
VERY well caught.

John Smile
GalleryGirl 13 4 2 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 8:22PM
Well observed and captured. Super street-life scenes.
Marilyn x
imagio 14 12 1 England
21 Apr 2008 8:36PM
two very crisp and perfectly composed images Alan, so much to look at in these too.

RockArea 14 18 3 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 8:43PM
Excellent images Alan. So much happening there one could invent any amount of stories so it's good to have the facts.

SandraKay Plus
13 233 4 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 8:47PM
Two superb studies in expressions and body language. Just going off the shoes - is that a girl motorcyclist in V2? The chap with the white sunglasses collecting the keys is really absorbed in it all.
I wouldn't fancy trying out the Jirawat clinic (V1) somehow.
AlanBW 15 20 England
21 Apr 2008 8:48PM
Many thanks Susan, Ed, Rende, John, Marilyn, Bernie and David - Alan
Hoffy 16 262 16 England
21 Apr 2008 10:03PM
Great capture
SueTurner 16 81 3 England
21 Apr 2008 10:44PM
great description and image to go with it
Paul_cats 15 61 22 Scotland
21 Apr 2008 11:23PM
Excellent Candids as ever. Great colour in both shots and pin sharp.
ricochico 15 6 United States
21 Apr 2008 11:39PM
Love the story as much as the image. At first I thought the bloke was being issued a citation for driving his bike nude in publicSmile lol... almost looks like he was. Wow what a story though. Nice PJing Alan! Good 2 see u again mate.
22 Apr 2008 12:32AM
Good old Thai police - I've been there many a time and usually towards the end of the month! Their pay is so low that they have to substitute it with fines.
photophantom 13 108 3 Philippines
22 Apr 2008 1:53AM
I like it Alan. Very clear shots. As always, your write up story is great.
JimV 14 6 3 Canada
22 Apr 2008 5:45AM
Wonderful candids and description Alan, wouldn't want to mess with these cops!
Rgds., Jim
AlanBW 15 20 England
22 Apr 2008 6:40AM
Many thanks Paul, Sue, Paul, Rico, Mia, Dennis and Jim - Alan
anpix 13 88 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2008 6:42AM
lovely photos another great write up
whiteswan01 13 13 England
22 Apr 2008 7:24AM
very nice like the expression on the first 1s face
nickyv32 Plus
13 135 England
22 Apr 2008 7:35AM
Superb capture, love the detail.

User_Removed 16 386 2 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2008 7:44AM
Very interesting captures.
DP_Imagery 16 24 6 Wales
22 Apr 2008 8:27AM
Cracking social documentary captures. Bruce
MandsH 14 England
22 Apr 2008 8:30AM
Excellent shots, captured the moment well
CatMouse 17 115 Russian Federation
22 Apr 2008 9:18AM
Wow, "Hitler Ugent" Racer? Hahahahha!

We have the same guys so much, in Moscow!
However, they are not so "young" Smile

Well done, Alan Wink
AlanBW 15 20 England
22 Apr 2008 10:26AM
Many thanks Andrew, Dawn, Nicky, Lucien, Malik & Mary, Bruce and Mandy - Alan
bricurtis Plus
15 2.4k 51 England
22 Apr 2008 10:40AM
Two fine images Alan. Good colour and well detailed.
TelStar 16 116 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2008 2:02PM
Great body language and attitudes shot.

22 Apr 2008 2:41PM
Fabulous street photography Alan, I do love the expression on the guys faces. Really nice detail too. helen x
AlanBW 15 20 England
22 Apr 2008 2:58PM
Many thanks Brian, Tel and Helen - Alan
Artois 14 405 1 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2008 5:34PM
good candids
GrahamBaines 13 39 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2008 5:58PM
Super images Alan nicely observed.

A Booth 18 11 4 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2008 6:49PM
superb captured candids with good colours and composition.
rmr 13 1 Wales
22 Apr 2008 6:57PM
two super captures alan
well done
evelen 16 5 England
22 Apr 2008 6:57PM
stunning images .
22 Apr 2008 7:19PM
Great street photography. Do you think he was pulled over because he wasn't wearing any clothes? Looks like he's naked in V1... Smile
22 Apr 2008 8:04PM
Cant beat the candids, good stuff Alan
ChristineL 16 39 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2008 8:25PM
great shots Alan,
Frase 13 Scotland
22 Apr 2008 8:32PM
Two cracking images.
AlanBW 15 20 England
22 Apr 2008 9:46PM
Many thanks Stella, Graham, Alan, Mark, Eve, Carol, Graham, Chris and Don, very much appreciated - Alan
peterboyce 13 1 England
22 Apr 2008 10:08PM
excellent shot
22 Apr 2008 10:12PM
Very nice pictures, and the detail is stunning.
AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Apr 2008 7:58AM
Many thanks Peter and Sorin - Alan
Mavis 19 143 2 England
23 Apr 2008 8:11AM
Good to get images as good as this . All sorts of stories about the dreaded traffic Police. Lots to look at . xx
AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Apr 2008 8:27AM
Many thanks Mavis - Alan
japa 14 3 United Kingdom
23 Apr 2008 10:40AM
love the shots - well done
RobinF 14 83 1 England
23 Apr 2008 11:27AM
Love the write up as it provided so much 'background' information to both of these compelling images Alan. They are both soooo good! Sat here staring at them for ages! Great work. - kind regards - Robin
AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Apr 2008 12:01PM
Many thanks Japa and Robin, much appreciated - Alan
Rogerex 14 32 12 Australia
23 Apr 2008 12:09PM
Lots of interesting things to see in these pictures, particularly the signs in V1. I wonder what kind of clinic is being advertised, for example, and is the taxi sign there to give the offenders a way to get to the police station? Perhaps the cops are in cahoots with the cabbies.
Nettles 13 England
23 Apr 2008 1:26PM
Two excellent candids, some very expressions caught.
Guess the traffic police are everywhere.
Very good shots. Annette
AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Apr 2008 2:58PM
Many thanks Roger and Annette - Alan
JudeC 14 6 3 England
23 Apr 2008 5:23PM
Hi - two cracking candids - takes me back to our trip last year - Jude.
AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Apr 2008 6:06PM
Many thanks Jude - Alan
dianah 14 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
23 Apr 2008 6:51PM
Great shots both of them..this kind of candid always tells a story !
graceland 16 2.5k 2 United Kingdom
23 Apr 2008 7:45PM
one hundred for you well done
AlanBW 15 20 England
23 Apr 2008 8:22PM
Many thanks Di and Robin - Alan
Silverzone 13 2 England
23 Apr 2008 10:07PM
Interesting situations. Sylvia
Bluke 16 303 1 United Kingdom
24 Apr 2008 12:20PM
Great candid shots.... love this type of photography....
PS thank you for your kind comments on my pics...
AlanBW 15 20 England
24 Apr 2008 5:56PM
Many thanks Sylvia and Costas - Alan
kinfatric 16 550 9 Scotland
24 Apr 2008 7:31PM
wonderful narrative and images Alan
Hop-A-Long 14 52 1 England
24 Apr 2008 9:48PM
Well captured. By you and the Police.
una 17 10 United Kingdom
24 Apr 2008 11:45PM
Great candids, very well captured.
AlanBW 15 20 England
25 Apr 2008 9:56AM
Many thanks Kin, Andy and Una - Alan
25 Apr 2008 10:50AM
Both very well captured.
AlanBW 15 20 England
25 Apr 2008 11:37AM
Thanks Mac, much appreciated - Alan
Brilane 14 5 12 Wales
25 Apr 2008 1:06PM
Nice shots. I notice that new keys could, probably, be made in the esablishment behind the action in vers.1.
25 Apr 2008 1:16PM
Excellent candid captures

Portknockie 16 48 Scotland
25 Apr 2008 3:10PM
Looks like and sound s like a scam to me Alan..but you dont argue with the man with the gun..Wink

AlanBW 15 20 England
25 Apr 2008 4:17PM
Many thanks Brian, Graeme and Don - Alan
25 Apr 2008 7:43PM
Great capture, No; 1 for me.
daringdaphne 17 82 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2008 8:36PM
Terrific picture, colour,focus, interest. All from across the road.

Nice one/two.

Pegon 15 78 1 England
25 Apr 2008 8:50PM
Excellent shots Alan.
AlanBW 15 20 England
26 Apr 2008 9:52AM
Many thanks Harry, Daphne and Pete - Alan
trissie 14 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2008 10:14AM
Two great candids Alan, excellent description.

Trish x
panda 16 5 1 England
26 Apr 2008 11:14AM
Super narrative shots Alan, very descriptive.

Regards Phil
26 Apr 2008 2:10PM
Two great captures and interesting info.

SandraKay Plus
13 233 4 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2008 3:47PM
Oops! Just remembered I forgot to click this one - sorry.
myrab 14 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2008 4:40PM
Well seen and well taken.
AlanBW 15 20 England
26 Apr 2008 4:55PM
Many thanks Trish, Phil, Christine, Sandra and Myra - Alan
phototime 14 8 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2008 8:20PM
Excellent candid shots Alan,nice one.

AlanBW 15 20 England
27 Apr 2008 10:11AM
Many thanks Mo- Alan
steve_r 13 England
27 Apr 2008 9:33PM
GOOD SHOT.Great work like both shots well captured regards Steve.
27 Apr 2008 10:17PM
Great shots. Well done.
AlanBW 15 20 England
28 Apr 2008 6:42AM
Many thanks Steve and Haydn - Alan
GregorP 16 4 Slovenia
28 Apr 2008 3:54PM
Beautiful shots Alan!

AlanBW 15 20 England
28 Apr 2008 4:49PM
Many thanks Gregor - Alan
Buffalo_Tom Plus
14 2.3k 16 Wales
29 Apr 2008 6:43PM
Excellent candid images Alan.
AlanBW 15 20 England
30 Apr 2008 9:15AM
Many thanks Tom - Alan
ginz04 17 281 20 United Kingdom
1 May 2008 7:00PM
i enjoy people watching as well - good candid.

AlanBW 15 20 England
2 May 2008 7:52AM
Many thanks Ian - Alan
JONTHELENS 14 34 United Kingdom
4 May 2008 1:25PM
Very nicely taken, love the expression on the guys face in v1.

MickS 16 23 14 England
4 May 2008 8:40PM
Watcha Alan,
nice bit of reportage.
AlanBW 15 20 England
5 May 2008 10:18AM
Many thanks Jon and Mick - Alan
tigertimb 13 40 66 United Kingdom
6 May 2008 1:57PM
Two great candid shots capturing the activity and all those different expressions.
AlanBW 15 20 England
6 May 2008 2:44PM
Cheers Tim, much appreciated - Alan
Leightonhs 14 155 1
9 Oct 2008 11:17PM
What a great set of characters, this is a really interesting shot.

Yogendra 17 22 1 United Kingdom
20 Oct 2008 8:45PM
2 wonderful reportage shots, Superb.

videotec 12 8 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2008 10:41AM
Great Shots--Superb Clarity--Brill
RTDS 12 Cyprus
25 Oct 2008 11:41AM
2 excellent captures with awsome details and colours.
Well done.
25 Oct 2008 12:49PM
Good street shot looks like the lawmen were having a busy day.
jonathanbp 12 99 Thailand
2 Nov 2008 10:39AM
Great candid shots - Jonathan
23 Nov 2008 11:51PM
Good capture, well spotted. Nice clear images. Tracey
Roly 13 Wales
24 Nov 2008 8:44PM
Maybe its because of the Swastika on his crash helmet. Two great candids.

mrjt 15 United Kingdom
15 Jul 2010 1:58PM
A selection of superb images....Jack.

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