Nearly 100 international experts from around the world are training Cambodian prosecutors, Military Police personnel and police officials in investigative procedures involved in murder cases.
A senior Cambodian police official said the training will strengthen the capacity of officials amid a sharp rise in murder cases.
The six-day workshop is being run for the first time by the NGO the Child Protection Unit (CPU) in conjunction with Cambodia Children’s Fund.
Approximately 200 trainees from specialised institutions are expected to attend the workshop from June 10-15 in Phnom Penh.
CPU executive director James McCabe said close to 100 specialised officials from serious crime, forensic and law enforcement divisions will also converge at the workshop to give presentations and discuss modern-day investigative and post mortem techniques in solving murder cases in general and the killing of children in particular.
“Attendees will acquire the relevant knowledge to respond to offences committed against children and all types of crimes that occur."
“Cambodia is developing rapidly, so this workshop is important for our officials to acquire technical skills and methods that have not been practised in the Kingdom, such as the handling of a crime scene, the use of substances reactive to blood and techniques for DNA testing,” he said.
Nigel Lee, a forensic expert from the UK, said experiences gained by police officials from across the world vary from region to region and depend on the actual crimes that occur. To ensure police in certain regions, especially Cambodia, apply accurate techniques, such training is of utmost importance.
“It seems to be the case for police officials worldwide. Sometimes they already have the skills, but when they put it into practice they don’t do it right. So their skills need to be applied repeatedly to ensure that their practice no longer has mistakes,” he said.
‘Not unique to Cambodia’
Deputy National Police chief In Bora said murder cases, especially those committed against children, are not unique to Cambodia but rather a global issue that warrants concerted efforts to address and adopt preventative measures in line with societal development.
Bora said Cambodia had endeavoured to prevent major crimes and had taken every measure possible to keep them to a minimum. However, he said while major crimes including armed robberies had declined, murder and rape cases involving children are on the rise.
“We will continue our efforts to address the issue because crimes always evolve differently. So our police officials are required to possess certain skills for their investigations to be effective in various circumstances."
“The CPU has brought many institutions with various skills to provide training on correct procedures. In the near future, it will continue to train our officials in one province after another,” he said.
Amid a rise in rape-murder cases in the Kingdom, both Cambodian and international experts have attributed the increase in such cruel offences to poverty and the consumption of drugs and alcohol.
The CPU has, since 2013, cooperated with Cambodian authorities in tackling 1,443 murder cases, with 83 per cent of offenders arrested and rigorously punished.
McCabe said this reflects Cambodian authorities’ efforts in preventing such crimes, especially those against children.