The National Police has introduced a wide-ranging plan to guarantee public safety during the Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean New Years, which all fall on the same day this month.
On January 25, Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans will celebrate the first day of the Year of the Rat, based on calendars derived from the Chinese lunisolar calendar.
A significant number of Cambodians, and millions of people around the world, will partake in celebrations at their home, pagodas and churches during these culturally significant holidays on January 24-27.
Ahead of the celebrations, the National Police has instructed the heads of all government departments and units as well as the Phnom Penh municipal and provincial police to prioritise public safety and maintain social order by implementing a six-point plan.
First, police officers have been instructed to collect data about the security situation before and during the celebrations and stay alert to any incident that may spark social unrest.
Second, security at pagodas and Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean temples will be strengthened, with police officers told to be particularly vigilant about criminal activity in such locations.
Traffic and the prevention of congestion and road accidents is the third point. As per the plan, police will work to enforce the Road Traffic Law so that citizens can safely travel between provinces to visit relatives.
The prevention of fires is the fourth point. Authorities have been asked to educate people on the dangers of improperly using electronics and flammable objects, particularly candles and incense sticks when making an offering.
The National Police is also asking the authorities to stop the illegal sale of firecrackers and to have police officers and firefighters on standby in case of fire.
Regarding the fifth and sixth points, the National Police said: “Authorities must educate officers on how to respond to any situation promptly and efficiently.
“They have to make an assessment of the security situation and the result of measures implemented and file a report to the National Police by January 28.”
National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun told The Post on Sunday that, for the most part, measures to safeguard the capital are already in place, and pointed out that the biggest threat in Phnom Penh during this time is fires.
“Generally speaking, we have not had serious problems during these holidays. We have been able to manage the situation quite well in the past.
“A team has been put together to protect significant locations and ensure no fires break out. The task force is prepared to intervene if something happens,” he said.