Report: Sihanoukville crimes increase 25%

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Sihanoukville has undergone rapid expansion in recent years. Heng Chivoan

Crimes in Preah Sihanouk province rose by 21 cases to 105 last year compared to 84 in 2017 – a 25% increase – said a report revealed at the closing ceremony of the annual achievement and goal setting by Preah Sihanouk provincial police on Wednesday.

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The report showed that felony increased by four cases to 29, while misdemeanours increased by 17 to 76. The crimes caused five women to be killed and 21 to be injured, including three women. Two motorbikes were also lost besides other property.

“As a result of cracking down on crimes, 103 out of the 105 cases were resolved, equivalent to a 98% success rate. Of the 29 felony cases alone, 235 people were arrested, including 73 suspects out of which 48 were Chinese nationals."

“Of the 76 cases of misdemeanour, 162 suspects were arrested, including 47 foreigners made up of Chinese, German, Kazakh, and Indian nationals. All the cases have been sent to court,” the report said.

‘Preventative measures’

Speaking at the event, Thong Lim, the Deputy National Police Chief, instructed police to ensure security, political and social order is maintained, introduce timely preventative measures, and better implement village and commune safety policies.

Kong Vithanak, the Deputy governor of Preah Sihanouk province, reminded all provincial police officers to pay attention to criminal activities and make efforts to fulfil their duties to further maintain and protect security and [public] order.

He said that to strengthen public order and improve traffic conditions, law enforcement must be strengthened to ensure that foreigners who drive without licenses be brought to book.

“We should continue the implementation of village and commune safety policies, the control of foreigners, and preventive measures against any group of people that cause anarchy, and grab state and villagers’ lands among others,” Vithanak said.

Cheab Sotheary, Adhoc coordinator in Preah Sihanouk, said while criminal activities in Preah Sihanouk had increased, she applauded the authorities’ report that told the truth about the crime situation.

She said people worried so much about their safety as large numbers of foreigners were flocking into the province while new arrivals were also increasing at an alarming rate.

“While we acknowledge that crimes have increased, if the authorities claim security is better now, then that is unacceptable because so many types of crimes have increased in numbers, especially drug-related ones."

“We worry about the influx of foreigners and newcomers which include good and bad people, so it requires the national and local authorities and the people to cooperate to crack down on crime and tip off the police, while the courts must strengthen law enforcement,” Sotheary said.