Violent crime in the capital surged more than 250 per cent in the first six months of this year from the same period last year, while the crime rate also rose nationwide, according to a Ministry of Interior report obtained by the Post yesterday.
The report said there were 289 murders and assaults in the capital in the first six months of this year, compared to 112 cases in the same period in 2010.
“There were 73 cases of murders and 216 cases of assaults in 2011. In 2010, there were 40 cases of murders and 72 cases of assaults,” the report said.
It also said crime rates rose in 10 provinces. The sharpest increase was in Pailin, where total cases jumped from 18 in the first six months of 2010, to 49 in the same period this year, a rise of nearly 200
Other provinces reporting surges in crime were Koh Kong, where rates nearly doubled, and Kampong Thom, where the rate rose 84 per cent.
The Ministry of Interior’s national police spokesman, Kirt Chantharith, denied yesterday that crime rates had surged.
“I am not yet aware of this report because it is a public holiday. Who said crimes are increasing? They aren’t, crimes are drastically decreasing,” he said, pointing to a new government policy designed to reduce crime rates in the Kingdom.
Known as the village-commune, or village-sangkat, safety policy, it allows villages and communes to recruit their own security guards in cooperation with local authorities. Last month marked its first full year of implementation.
Yesterday’s report contradicts numbers released in September by the Phnom Penh municipality, which said that felonies in the capital had decreased by 4 percent and misdemeanors had fallen by14 percent.
“Furthermore, out of 96 sangkats of Phnom Penh, 78 have no crimes happening,” the city’s website said, attributing the falling crime rates to the village-sangkat safety policy.