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Bodyguards to begin wearing IDs at events

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has issued an order to all bodyguards working at large public events to wear visible identification cards in order to prevent imposters from infiltrating their ranks.

“Various bodyguards stationed at celebration sites and equipped with weapons [coming] from various units like the National Police, the bodyguard command and the military of the country that are assigned to go around and protect the ceremony compound not having identification or any specific unit sign could have the result of providing opportunities for terrorists or criminals taking actions that cause social instability and endanger the lives of citizens and top leaders,” the December 15 letter containing the order reads.

Under the guidelines contained in the letter, police officers, bodyguards and soldiers assigned to protect officials must have plastic ID badges of similar shapes containing the bearer’s name, photo and ID number. They must also have the logo of the bearer’s unit, an official seal and separate badge number.

It’s not uncommon for civilians to be arrested wearing police uniforms, often in relation to the commission of other crimes. National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito said the badges would be a good step towards preventing such imposters from sneaking into public functions, which occurred regularly in the past, he maintained.

“This requirement will also assist the officers of the relevant units in having better communication. So far, there have been many imposters with the same uniforms as officers. Most of them were there for intelligence reports,” he said, declining to elaborate on what those reports might be for. “As I remember, there were some local media that had reports related to people stealing public and private property at [functions] like that.”

The Ministry of Interior has tasked the National Police Commissariat with devising an ID card for National Police officers, as well as facilitating collaboration with other relevant bodies to implement the directive.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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