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Sao Sokha: Kingdom’s social order improved last year

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Sao Sokha (Blue Uniform), Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Deputy Commander-in-chief. Heng Chivoan

Sao Sokha: Kingdom’s social order improved last year

Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Deputy Commander-in-chief Sao Sokha said on Monday that security and social order last year was calm and that felony and misdemeanour crimes were down on 2017. However, strikes and protests increased.

At the 2018 annual review and dissemination of action plans for 2019, Sokha – who is also National Military Police Commander – said that although the global situation was complex due to terrorism, armed conflicts, trade conflicts and cross-border crime, domestically Cambodia was still able to maintain security and social order.

He said felony and misdemeanours had decreased in the Kingdom compared to 2017, but protests – especially strikes and workers’ rallies – and traffic accidents were up. For instance, 11 soldiers and Military Police officers were killed on the roads last year.

“Also last year, 3,771 crimes were reported compared to 2017’s 4,617. He said of the 3,771 crimes, the authorities solved 2,549 cases, while 2,727 were solved in 2017,” Sokha said.

He said that 3,785 people were sent to court in 2018 when there were 1,686 felonies, 283 cases of aggravated stealing, murder (248), rape (188), human trafficking (12), blackmail (16), drug trafficking (934), as well as five cases of people being detained illegally.

Sokha said the National Military Police had prepared forces in four locations around Phnom Penh to prevent and intervene in a timely manner in any rally, protest, strike, demonstration or violent gathering that could affect national security.

He said the National Military Police had cooperated with all other authorities to carry out its duties as assigned by the government to protect peace and political stability.

Meanwhile, Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said at the 2018 annual review and dissemination of action plans for 2019 on Monday that the Military Police is a core force in protecting security and public order throughout the Kingdom.

“Our core duties are to maintain public order as well as to strengthen our peace,” he said.

Soeung Sen Karuna, a spokesman for human rights organisation Adhoc, claimed security and social order had not improved as crime continued to increase, while the freedom to gather was still limited.

“Security was not better because people continue to worry as robberies while travelling [are still rife]. We don’t know how they measured that crimes have decreased. We cannot accept it when these issues [crimes] are still common,” he said.

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