Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Choun Sovann ordered crooked cops to stop extorting money from taxi and truck drivers in the capital this week, saying it is damaging the reputation of other members of staff.
Speaking at a traffic police meeting at the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissariat on Tuesday, Sovann told some 300 officers in attendance that he intended to crack down on the practice of taking fines without issuing receipts.
If found to be operating outside the law, said Sovann, they would face severe punishment.
Sovann noted that many officers had been performing their duties well in providing peace, security and safety for Phnom Penh. But, he said, “those who have committed illegal activities must be immediately stopped”.
In order to encourage traffic police to stop taking money from taxi and truck drivers, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, General Director of the General Commissariat of National Police Neth Savoeun and Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema have instituted a 1,500 riel-a-day bonus. “With the strict orders and through the added bonuses provided by our leadership, I hope that we can strengthen our police’s discipline,” Sovann said.
Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodia Defenders Project, called the efforts a good step forward to cracking down on endemic small-scale corruption.
“I think that these measures can strengthen the quality of the police in Cambodia,” he said.