Phnom Penh is now a safer city than London, New York, Amsterdam,
Copenhagen and Buenos Aires, although crime rates are still high in
rural areas, according to a new report.
The study by Rod Broadhurst and Thierry Bouhours of Australia’s
Griffith University surveyed 1,092 households in the capital and 635 in
Kandal province, comparing the findings with similar sweeps conducted
in 2001 and United Nations crime perception statistics from 26 other
cities across the world.
The study said 24 percent of Phnom Penh respondents
reported being a victim of crime in the past year, compared to 46
percent in 2006.
“We attribute [the fall in crime] to improvements in local governance,
more wealth, better security and reduction in firearms,” Broadhurst
said by email. However, Phnom Penh is still plagued by high levels of
burglary, corruption and theft, and victimization rates in Kandal have
remained constant since 2001, the report said.
While crime rates in the capital are down across the board, the study
found that most victims of crime are still reluctant to report offences
to police. Just 18.3 percent of burglaries and 27.3 percent of assaults
were reported in 2005, according to the report. (Sebastian Strangio)