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National Police celebration postponed

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times Share:
Critics complained about the number of police deployed in protests. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The National Police will not be celebrating its 72nd anniversary this year  because they are busy preparing for the upcoming commune elections in June.
National Police spokesperson and deputy national police chief Kirth Chantharith said that the national police force traditionally celebrated the establishment of Cambodia’s National Police, which falls on May 16 every year, with a celebration of some kind, be it a meeting or convention.
“For this year, the National Police has asked Prime Minister Hun Sen and Interior Minister Sar Kheng to postpone the anniversary celebrations to next year because this year, the national police forces are busy preparing its forces to protect the people in the upcoming commune election,” he said.
This year, in place of a celebration, the National Police Chief Neth Savoeun sent a letter to all the national police forces congratulating the police officers for their successful work.
In the letter, Mr Savoeun said that police officers at all levels had actively enforced government policy to protect national sovereignty, ensure border security, prevent terrorist activities, prevent transnational crimes as well as successfully prevent a colour revolution.
In total, 8,000 criminal cases were handled in the past year as well as 1,000 protests.
Additionally, this year’s anniversary was also dedicated to the late King Norodom Sihanouk who created the law enforcement unit.
“During this excellent occasion, we would like to the National Police’s treasure who left a historic mark of accomplishment on the next few generations of police officers.
“And thank you to the families of the national police who allow their family members to serve in the police force as well as for supporting them in their fulfilling their duties,” the letter read.
According to Mr Chantharith, there are currently 55,000 officers with the National Police, with only 10 officers being injured or killed in the line of duty.
He also noted that most police officers performed their duties well and very few were not fulfilling their tasks or had been named in citizen complaints.
The letter also noted that the National Police force was also carrying out extensive reforms in policy and infrastructure.
It will be creating new departments as well as employing a new framework to meet any shortages.
“The updates and behavioural change of police officers will provide an opportunity for administrative officers to get in touch with people at home and provide welfare to citizens while serving the nation in an honest and timely manner,” the letter read.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability-Cambodia executive director San Chey said that the work of police at all levels mostly involved border crimes.
He noted, however, that the police had also disproportionally handled the crackdown on land disputes.
Their approach had been  heavy handed with an excessive number of police officers and equipment in contrast to the women and children protesters.

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