The Battambang city police chief yesterday rejected local news reports that he let city security forces use weapons and uniforms contrary to the law, calling the reports slanderous.
Koh Santepheap newspaper published a story saying that Battambang police chief Pang Heang was using six or seven private security workers, with uniforms and weapons, according to information leaked by his subordinates.
The leakers said the security workers were not employed by the state and were doing work meant for national police.
Mr Heang said yesterday that he had employed some private security forces to help maintain order in the city, but denied he provided them with official uniforms or weapons. He said some of them might have found uniforms and dressed like police of their own accord.
“If the security forces are dressed in civilian clothes, gangsters or suspects in other crimes would not be afraid of them,” he said.
“Regarding the issue of weapons, the security forces are not allowed to carry weapons, but when they work alongside armed police, maybe they have held their guns and taken pictures because they like the weapons.”
Mr Heang said the equipment for the security forces only included radios, electric batons, handcuffs and torches.
Deputy provincial police chief Chet Vanny said he was investigating the case.
“It would be a mistake if he is using forces dressed like police who are not employed by the state. Security forces are different from the police,” he said. “If it is true, I will take action.”