The research on environmental crime in Thailand aims at studying the problems and impacts of environmental crime in Thailand; the problems and obstacles of police officers in preventing and suppressing environmental crime in Thailand; and measurements to prevent and suppress environmental crime in Thailand. The research methodology applied is the combination between quantitative and qualitative research techniques. The data is gathered from news in media, random sampling from police officers in different region of 8 provinces, simple random sampling from 320 police officers nationwide. The specific sampling in a qualitative method is applied among police officers with duties involved in judicial proceedings of environmental crime. Regarding data analysis, quantitative research uses the Percentage, Mean, and Standard Deviation; whereas qualitative research uses the Content Analysis.
The results of the study disclose that the environmental crime was heavily presented through media during 2013-2017 i.e. illegal wildlife smuggling; deforestation; illegal hazardous waste disposal; ozone depletion; and illegal fishing. Furthermore, environmental problems included pollution and smuggling of natural resources. The environmental problems in the area under responsibilities of the sampled police officers were illegal forest and paddy field burning. These also include destruction of natural resources, generating pollution to the environment, illegal wildlife trade, abandonment and relocation of hazardous waste. The nature of offenses and the causes related to environmental crime found were perpetrated by villagers in the area with ignorance of the law or committing for a living, which affects the environment and other lives.
The problems and obstacles of the prevention and suppression of environmental crime comprise the problems related to the process of wrongdoing without any concerns that environmental crime is a type of crime as any other general crimes; lack of experts in this area; some outdated environmental laws e.g. rather lenient punishment, be unable to impose a sense of guilt for the perpetrator, and be unable to compensate such natural damages. In addition, the problems and obstacles associated with organized crime syndicates, who find this type of crime still imbalanced proportionality in sentencing and economic gains; and more importantly, and unable to capture the key perpetrators. Besides, the problem related to the nature of environmental crime is victimless as well as lack of awareness of the importance of environmental crime and lack of collaboration with police officers to testify the offense related to environmental crimes.
The significant measures in preventing and solving environmental problems are such as having solid environmental policy implementation, defining appropriate measures to punish perpetrators of such environmental offenses, creating a compensation for the degraded environment, encouraging people and the local administrative organizations to participate in the prevention and suppression of environmental crime and promoting the performance of police officers and related agencies in prevention at the root cause of the environmental crime.