Some 200 surveillance cameras installed at Phnom Penh’s traffic lights were switched on for the first time yesterday, the National Police and Ministry of Interior announced.
“These cameras will send data immediately to us, and we will be able to command our forces [to respond to] traffic crimes and other crimes that happen unexpectedly,” said Min Vanna, department director of the National Police’s radio centre.
The cameras are part of a $3 million equipment package offered from China’s Public Security Ministry. Hu Bin Chen, deputy director of international cooperation at the Chinese ministry, yesterday said China plans to donate additional HD cameras, along with fire engines and water cannons in 2016.
“I believe that the cooperation of both countries’ ministries of interior plays an important role in security for both countries’ populations,” he said.
Vanna confirmed that his department will get between 400 and 500 cameras to install in streets, parks, tourist locations, VIP’s homes and other high-traffic areas. “Only 200 [cameras] in Phnom Penh is not enough,” Kirth Chantharith, National Police spokesman, said yesterday. “We need them across the whole country.”
He dismissed concerns that growing surveillance will lead to misuse. “We are a free country and human rights will be protected, don’t worry about that,” he said. “Surveillance cameras are used everywhere in the world. Our purpose is control and safety.”
Additional reporting by Igor Kossov