National Police chief Neth Savoeun instructed all police officers on Tuesday to oppose the practice of using Cambodian land as sanctuaries or bases to oppose neighbouring countries.
Savoeun also emphasised the importance of reducing crime and drug use in the Kingdom, adding that the Cambodian people support the action.
His remarks were made at the National Action Plan for 2020 meeting at the General Commissariat of National Police. Held at the Commissariat’s meeting hall, it was attended by officials under the Commissariat and provincial police.
The Commissariat’s website quoted Savoeun as saying that the relevant police officers must strengthen order and security while ensuring safety and peace.
Savoeun stressed that officers must prevent a colour revolution – a term used to describe various revolutions during the early 2000s – and prevent opposition members from taking Cambodian territory as a refuge or a position to act against neighbouring countries.
He advocated for the reduction of crimes, the suppression of drugs and called for a crackdown on gangsters.
Sovoeun also spoke about the need to liberate women and children from sex trafficking.
Traffic laws must be enforced and officers must be trained, he said, before adding that he wanted all officers to strictly enforce a new sub-decree which increases fines for traffic law violations.
Sovoeun implored the Disciplinary Council to improve its operations by promoting and enhancing the capacity of officers by arranging local and international training courses.
He also urged the Police Friendly Association – a group dedicated to helping police officers who can’t work full time due to injuries or illness – to improve its efficiency.
Kandal provincial police chief Chhoeun Sochet attended the meeting but declined to comment on the new directives.
Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem said he would comply with the new orders. “I have nothing to say other than that I will follow the higher authorities,” he said.
NGO Licadho’s vice-president Am Sam Ath said on Tuesday that he supported the new directives because Cambodia has full control of its sovereignty, and if any group intends to use the Kingdom’s territory as a backdrop to oppose other countries, the police and government officials must enforce the law.
“Our country is a sovereign, independent state. If anyone wants to take Cambodian territory as a position against neighbouring countries, Cambodia needs to be protected by law,” he said.
The issue of security and social order, he said, is the duty of the armed forces which has the authority to protect its citizens.
Therefore, the armed forces also need to have good discipline, good manners, an ethical attitude, and a strong work ethic, he said.
At the meeting, Savoeun told police officers to uphold their prestige by treating their profession with honour and dignity.