Police Corruption To Be Investigated as Charges Fly

Ordering an investigation of po­lice corruption on Tuesday, Co-Min­is­ter of Interior Sar Kheng ac­cused some Phnom Penh police of­ficers of working with criminals to com­mit crimes.

Sar Kheng also said that some un­professional police officers exaggerate reports that are sent to the court and even reverse the roles of crim­inals and victims, bringing suspicion of wrongdoing on the innocent.

“Sometimes the law enforcement officers support the thieves. I know there have been some cases in Phnom Penh. They support the thieves,” Sar Kheng told provincial of­ficials and police chiefs participating in the Interior Ministry’s annual two-day conference.

“Anywhere that the same crimes happen repeatedly, our police must be inspected,” Sar Kheng said.

His comments come amid an un­­precedented series of arrests of capital police officials suspected in the killings of a judge and of a suspect in police detention.

Charges of attempting to kill a court prosecutor and the National Military Police Commander Sao Sok­ha have also been laid against sev­eral of the same officers.

Sar Kheng said that these violations come against the backdrop of rising crime.

Serious crimes such as rape, arm­ed robbery and drug crimes are on the rise, with approximately 500 more cases in 2005 than in the pre­vious year, Sar Kheng said, without revealing the total number.

In an attempt to reverse the trend, the ministry is planning to create new schools to educate and train po­lice officers, Sar Kheng said.

Kratie and Battambang prov­inces will likely see new police schools, and former Khmer Rouge commander Ta Mok’s house in Takeo prov­ince will also be converted into a re­gional school to train police officers be­fore they advance to higher courses.

The National Police School in Kandal province will also be converted into the Academic School of Na­tional Police over the next two years, Sar Kheng added.

“Training in skills is not yet connected to education to improve the ethics, morality and work behavior [of police officers], which can affect the trust and support of the public,” Sar Kheng said. “Morality, ability and loyalty are very important.”

 

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