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Gun violence on rise: police

Armed robbery in Cambodia has doubled at the same time as more than 1,000 Royal Cambodian Armed Forces soldiers have fled their posts, taking their weapons with them, the general secretariat of the National Police Commissioner said on Friday.

At an eight-month review of the state of crime in Cambodia, Lieutenant General Mok Chito, director of the penal police department at the Ministry of Interior, said there had been 19 recorded cases of armed robberies in the first eight months of this year, compared with only 10 in 2011.

“The reason why the number of armed robberies and murders increased is because of the lack of weapon and ammunition control,” Chito said.

“One of the big challenges for police in controlling the weapons and ammunitions is that there were many soldiers who have run away from their units and taken military equipment including weapons and ammunition with them when they return to their communities,” Chito elaborated, adding that there have been 1,211 soldiers abscond from RCAF, mostly from border patrol units, so far this year.

Along with armed robbery, murder was the other crime category on the rise, Chito said on the occasion of launching the national crime figures for the first eight months of 2012.

Despite several high-profile drug hauls and prosecutions, the number of drug trafficking cases has not changed much compared with the same period last year, according to the report, with drug manufacturing and distribution still a problem.

Since the start of the year there have been 107 cases of drug trafficking, 903 arrests and more than 30 million amphetamine tablets seized.

Police crackdowns on human trafficking and rape crimes had decreased.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at reaksmeykongkea.buth@phnompenhpost.com

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