New Year’s Eve, often associated with rowdy revellers in Western countries, was practically devoid of crime in Cambodia due to Cambodians’ desire for “peace and progress”, police maintained yesterday.
Despite the fact that officials’ tabulations left out a drug-raid shootout that left one suspect wounded, National Police spokesman Lieutenant General Kirth Chantharith and others maintained yesterday that throughout the entire country, only one crime – the theft of a foreigner’s wallet – had been reported on New Year’s Eve.
“I would like to say that this New Year’s Eve was a good year.… There were lots of Cambodian people travelling to celebrate the New Year, but only one crime happened in Cambodia,” Chantharith said. “This shows that Cambodian people’s knowledge has improved and progressed now,” he continued. “They want their society and their country to have peace and progress.”
Acting Phnom Penh police chief Lieutenant General Mok Chito seconded Chantharith’s assessment, saying there had been only one theft in the city this year, compared to last year’s three, though he attributed the lack of crime to other factors.
“We noted that the reason why no more crimes happened this New Year’s Eve was because we have been deploying many police and military police as civil forces everywhere in the city,” he said.
Cheth Vanny, deputy chief of Battambang Provincial Police, also said that his jurisdiction had been totally quiet.
However, authorities weren’t so lucky on the traffic front, with both road accidents and fatalities up from last year, said Major General Him Yann, chief of the Traffic Police Department at the Ministry of Interior.
“According to our traffic accident report, there were a total of 20 cases of traffic accidents in which eight people died this New Year’s Eve, while there were 10 cases of traffic accidents in which six people died last year across the Kingdom,” he said.
“The reason why it increased was because there were more people travelling to meet with their families in the cities or provinces, and they were driving fast,” he added.