Interior Minister Sar Kheng has renewed his calls for police forces at all levels to implement the safe village-commune policy, and guarantee people’s safety.

While speaking at a ceremony celebrating the achievements of Teuk Chum Meanchey Pagoda in Battambang province’s Moung Russey district late last week, he said that officers should be working more effectively to combat crime.

He added that authorities should encourage the participation of the public in the fight against the distribution and use of illegal drugs, and well as thefts of all kinds and all forms of violence.

Sar Kheng instructed the authorities to put in more efforts to train village guards at the local level.

“I also encourage the public to offer more support, whether material or spiritual, to village security guards,” he said.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director at rights group LICADHO, said that some Cambodian youths appeared to have fallen under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He warned that this could have long-term consequences on their futures if no intervention took place.

“In order to crack down on their offending, it is necessary for the police to strengthen law enforcement, in line with the safer village-commune policy. They should also be cooperating more closely with community groups and local authorities,” he added.

The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) reported that law enforcement officers investigated 6,390 drug-related cases in 2022. They made 15,002 arrests and seized 14.919 tonnes of narcotics.