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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Crime up slightly since start of 2017

Police chief Neth Savoeun speaks about a six-month report on nationwide crime statistics at a meeting held yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied
Police chief Neth Savoeun speaks about a six-month report on nationwide crime statistics at a meeting held yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Crime up slightly since start of 2017

Crime in the Kingdom has risen by 5 percent in the first half of 2017, according to a biannual National Police report released yesterday.

There were a total of 1,410 crimes reported in the first six months of this year, up from 1,349 in the previous six months. Police said they had taken action in 85 percent of criminal cases.

While “misdemeanours”, or crimes warranting a prison sentence of five years or less, were on the rise, felony crimes saw a drop of 13 percent. However, such misdemeanours included the crimes of rape and sexual assault, which observers in the past have said are widely under-reported.

Reported rapes increased by 22 cases, totalling 126 over six months, while there were 36 instances of sexual assault reported to police, up from 21. Unintentional murder cases decreased by almost half, while murder itself dropped by 6.7 percent.

There was a 43 percent drop in robberies, and the use of illegal weapons dropped from 12 cases to just three. The report tabulated victims of violent crime as well – 122 people were killed and 533 were injured.

The report said 63 human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases – involving 144 victims – were sent to the courts, more than doubling the figure from the previous six months.

“Human trafficking has become more complicated to crack down on because recently there have been new types of cases, such as surrogacy, or hiring ladies to be pregnant to give birth to a baby,” the report read, referring to the high-profile arrest of Australian nurse Tammy Davis-Charles. “And in organ trafficking, they pretend to be relatives to the victim so they go abroad together to transplant the organs.”

A total of 1,139 “gangsters” were arrested, the report said, but of those, just 376 had been sent to the courts.

The Kingdom’s crackdown on drugs also saw a whopping 9,298 people arrested – a figure that has now increased to more than 10,000 as the campaign rolls on – in the first half of the year.

But the report admitted there were just 13 “big” drug trafficking cases, involving 31 arrests and 98 kilograms of seized drugs.

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