Police Chief Tells Officers to Crack Down on Theft

National Police chief Neth Savoeun on Tuesday called on police to work harder to clamp down on robberies after Japan complained that thieves were injuring and killing Japanese tourists in Cambodia.

General Savoeun said that he and Interior Minister Sar Kheng met last month with Japanese Foreign Ministry officials who asked them to take a more proactive approach toward violent crime.

“Many Japanese citizens have been killed during thefts and robberies, and Japan asked us to strengthen security urgently,” he said during a ceremony at the National Police headquarters in Phnom Penh, noting that a Japanese national was killed in a robbery in 2013 and another seriously injured in a bag-snatching incident last year.

“Japan has listed Cambodia and Laos as ‘insecure’ countries,” Gen. Savoeun added.

“We have decided to take strong action to stop thievery and robbery to provide safety and security, not only to Japanese citizens but also to all foreigners staying in our country.”

He said provincial police chiefs should consider violent theft “the most important” issue facing their officers, and more vigorously investigate cases so that courts can prosecute the offenders.

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