Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police offer tuk-tuk drivers $100 for each bag snatcher turned in

Police offer tuk-tuk drivers $100 for each bag snatcher turned in

Tuk-tuk drivers wait for customers in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district yesterday, where a new programme enlists drivers to help stop bag snatchers.
Tuk-tuk drivers wait for customers in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district yesterday, where a new programme enlists drivers to help stop bag snatchers.

Police offer tuk-tuk drivers $100 for each bag snatcher turned in

As part of a citywide effort to crack down on bag snatching, tuk-tuk drivers across Phnom Penh are being drafted by police to chase after and turn in robbers, with the promise of a $100 reward per case, according to officials.

On Monday, a group of roughly 25 tuk-tuk drivers met with Tuol Kork district police, where they were told to speed after thieves, knock them off their motorbikes and bring them to police headquarters to gather a reward, said Horm Kea, chief of the district’s Boeung Kak I commune, who was at the meeting. Any damage to the vigilantes’ vehicles would be paid for by officials, Kea said.

“This is our encouragement to them for their contribution as a citizen,” District Police Chief Houn Sothy added.

According to Deputy Phnom Penh Police Chief Song Ly, the drafting is another facet of a plan to crack down on petty crime, following a call last week by National Police Chief Neth Savoeun for officers to push for attempted murder charges against theft suspects.

While Tuol Kork is the first district to announce the tuk-tuk plan, it will be implemented across all 12 districts in the capital, Ly said. The budget for the incentives would come not from the National Police budget but from local “donation committees” or from money saved, he said, without clarifying.

But according to Yin Phalla, 35, a tuk-tuk driver who works in Tuol Kork, few drivers would likely achieve the task, despite the prevalence of theft.

“I don’t think it’s effective to get tuk-tuks to chase down the thieves or bag snatchers, because those snatchers’ motors are very fast,” he said, adding that this would likely increase traffic accidents. “I don’t think it’s possible.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old