Company Says Traffic Cameras Not For Police Use

Video footage from recently installed cameras capturing the traffic flow at four of Phnom Penh’s busiest intersections will not be recorded for police to use in investigations, the chief executive officer of the company that installed the cameras said yesterday.

EZECOM CEO Paul Blanche-Horgan said yesterday that the cameras his company installed in partnership with television network CTN had never been intended for police use.

“It is just a live feed from the four cameras,” Mr Blanche-Horgan said. “CTN wanted to do a traffic program…. We are not doing any security.”

Last week, CTN started broadcasting live early-morning feeds from cameras at the intersection of Russian Boulevard and St 289, the intersection of Mao Tse Tung Boulevard and Monireth Boulevard, the intersection of Monivong Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard and the three-way intersection of St 154, Sisowath Quay and Sothearos Boulevard.

Mr Blanche-Horgan said the joint project with CTN had cost about $15,000 and was purely intended to provide CTN viewers with a better idea of the traffic situation around the city.

The installation of police security surveillance cameras in Cambodia, however, appears to be on the government’s agenda.

Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak, Interior Ministry spokesman, said yesterday that the government was investigating the possibility of placing security cameras around Cambodia.

“These four new cameras are just CTN cameras…. But we plan to also [place cameras] in the future,” Lt Gen Sopheak said, adding that he did not know when the government would start work on the project.

Touch Naruth, Phnom Penh municipal police chief, said yesterday that police department had already made plans to place surveillance cameras at strategic points around the city.  “This project is good,” Mr Naruth said. “It will serve to ensure the public’s safety and help fight against crime.”

But Mr Naruth said the high cost of installing cameras meant that City Hall would have to appeal for more funding from the government.

“I don’t know when [installation] will happen yet,” Mr Naruth said. “It will cost a lot of money [and] the municipal governor will request to Samdech Hun Sen.”

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