Police discuss New Year security

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Nearly 100 senior police officials gather to discuss Khmer New Year security plans at the General Commissariat of National Police in Phnom Penh on Thursday. Neth Savoeun

Nearly 100 senior police officials from around the Kingdom gathered on Thursday at the General Commissariat of National Police in Phnom Penh to discuss security plans for the upcoming Khmer New Year.

During the meeting, National Police chief Neth Savoeun instructed officials to strictly maintain security and public order in their respective areas and to prevent tragedies, including fatal traffic accidents, fire and other crimes that have become common occurrences during the New Year holidays.

“We must also prepare backup forces in the capital and other provinces. As in previous years, we need to have forces on standby to intervene in an incident in a timely manner. For traffic accidents, we must enforce the laws because [the high fatality rate] is a bitter blow to Cambodia.”

After the two-hour meeting, National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun told reporters that the commissariat leadership laid out several measures for police to take during the New Year.

First, traffic police shall enforce the law and educate drivers to avoid overloading people and goods in contravention of the legal limits, strengthen the monitoring of overspeeding, and check on drivers suspected of drunk driving.

Second, relevant authorities are to strengthen social security measures and remain vigilant to prevent ill-intended individuals from causing chaos in all forms, including using explosive devices to cause turbulence during the New Year.

Third, the authorities are obliged to maintain security at all public places, including pagodas and other attractions frequented by New Year revellers.

Fourth, the authorities are required to prepare intervention forces at all municipal and provincial police stations and to put forces on standby on a rotational basis to ensure timely intervention.

Road safety expert Kong Sovann said traffic accidents remain the biggest concern for the authorities, especially during the New Year. He said traffic accidents would decrease if the authorities enforced the law.

“If the law is more strictly enforced, especially during the New Year, we will see positive results. Accident casualties result from overspeeding and drink driving. So if there are law enforcement officers throughout the country, that would be a good thing,” he said.