Phnom Penh police chief Chuon Narin directed contracted officers of the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration to enhance their performance, ensuring more effective measures for traffic safety in the city. 

Narin presented new uniforms on November 21 to 300 contracted officers who collaborate with municipal traffic police. The distribution of uniforms follows criticism and aims to enhance the safety and coordination of traffic in the area.

“The new uniforms for contracted officers receive the backing of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Ministry of Interior Sar Sokha, the National Police and the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration. This support aims to facilitate responsible collaboration between contracted employees and Phnom Penh traffic police,” he said.

Sam Vichheka, spokesperson for Phnom Penh municipal police, stated on November 22 that the contracted staff, equipped with new uniforms, will be deployed to manage traffic in congested areas. However, their role does not extend to apprehending or imposing fines on traffic offenders.

“Areas prone to severe congestion will have their increased presence to assist municipal traffic police,” he said.

Vichheka mentioned that if contracted officers fail to perform their duties appropriately or deviate from instructions, Phnom Penh municipal police will summon them for education. In cases of serious offences, their contracts will be terminated.

Kim Pagna, the country director of the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, could not be reached for comment. However, he has previously stated the need for the Phnom Penh administration and authorities to maximise the number of contracted staff. He suggested deploying them to locations with heavy congestion in order to ease traffic.

“While distinctions in uniforms exist, what truly matters is practice, particularly the emphasis on contracted workers focusing on mitigating traffic in congested areas. Increasing the number of contracted officers would specifically aid in managing traffic, especially during peak evening hours with heavy congestion,” he said.