Police Chiefs Told to Stop Taking Wages

The National Police commissioner has ordered police chiefs to stop taking money from law enforcement officials’ salaries for apparent good causes.

A statement signed by General Neth Savoeun, dated August 22 but obtained Thursday, said police chiefs at all levels must cease the practice, which takes money away from poorly paid low-level police.

“All departments, units and provincial commissariats have to review and stop immediately cutting the salaries of subordinate officials to help social work or humanitarian work,” the letter says.

The letter suggested that such donations were being widely imposed alongside contributions all police make to the Police Friendship Association, a kind of social fund the functions of which include paying out to the families of police officers who die.

“[The order to stop] excludes monthly donations for the Police Friendship Association to help each other as the association decides,” the letter reads, calling on all leaders within the police to act upon the order.

Teang Leng, police chief in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district, said the order was circulated among police officials in the province during a meeting Wednes­day this week.

Mr. Leng, however, said he had not heard of chiefs cutting salaries to put money to good causes.

“There is no salary cut of subordinate police officials to help social work or humanitarian work,” he said.

“We only pay 3,000 riel [$0.75] every month to the Police Friendship Association to help other police officers who die.”

The move comes just a month after the ruling CPP took significant losses at the July 28 national election, at which the opposition CNRP has claimed it won the support of many civil servants.

In a separate move, seen as a reaction to the CNRP’s election pledge to raise civil servants’ salaries to $250 a month, the Finance Ministry said August 7 it would raise the lowest-paid civil servants’ wages by at least 30 percent, to about $78 per month.

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