Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said that the implementation of the safe village-commune policy in 2022 had reduced the crime rate by nine per cent, while the nationwide rate of conviction for those arrested for criminal offences was at 92 per cent.

Sar Kheng spoke at the meeting to review the work outcomes for 2022 and the work direction for 2023 of his ministry on February 22, with more than 700 ministry staff in attendance from all over the country.

“The National Police and administrations at all levels continue to increase cooperation in maintaining order and safety in society through improving professional measures along with efforts to encourage participation from people in implementing the safe village-commune policy,” he said.

Sar Kheng also said that in 2022 the government implement a joint operations campaign to increase law enforcement activities against human trafficking, labour trafficking and sex trafficking, as well as illegal gambling.

Ha added that the government also conducted inspections of work places to check on foreign workers, anti-money laundering operations, anti-drug campaigns and crack downs on local gangs to achieve remarkable results.

Sar Kheng also urged his subordinates to continue to strengthen their respective activities to reduce the impacts on public health, especially to serve the interests of the people, although the good outcomes had achieved.

“Some challenges with the global political, economic, social and security situations have raised concerns about increasing terrorism and transnational crimes, the spread of technological crimes and an increase in criminal offenses that affect social psychology, drug offenses, human and sexual trafficking and also traffic accidents.

“This work requires the authorities and the competent forces to increase monitoring of the evolving regional and international situations, as well as to strengthen the management of the situation inside the country in order set out policies, strategies and measures more effectively. Those strategies and policies are for maintaining national security, public order, social safety and creating ease in developing socio-economically,” he said.

According to Sar Kheng, by 2022, through government reforms, nearly 60 functions have been transferred from the national ministries to the sub-national administrations and more than 800 administrative services have been handed over and delegated to sub-national administrations to give service to the people via One Window Service Office (OWSO) mechanism.

For the last five years (2018-2022), the transfer of funds from the national budget to the sub-national administrations has increased by approximately 2.7 times in amount, which means from $416 million in 2018 to over $1.1 billion in 2022.

Por Pheak, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Interior, who made a brief report on the working outcomes, said that last year the total number of offenses decreased by 285 cases, but the felony or serious crime rate had increased by 19 cases while misdemeanours decreased by more than 300 cases.

He said that cracking down on human and sexual trafficking accounted for more than 170 cases that resulted in the arrests and prosecution of 226 suspects, 31 of them foreigners, and the release of 552 victims.

“For the whole year, although the regional and global security situation continues to evolve and is difficult to predict and high risk, under the leadership of the government we have successfully overcome crises and challenges by bringing these great achievements to the average Cambodian,” he said.

According to Pheak’s report, in 2022, the OWSO in the capital and provinces provided 695,205 administrative services and received $28,212,492, while the OWSO at the districts provided 1,561,704 administrative services and received $2,752,266 in funding.

“The capital and provincial Citizen Offices or ombudsman office received 1,267 complaints or tips, including 767 cases within the jurisdiction, with 712 cases resolved, 202 cases outside the jurisdiction and 298 other were just pieces of information,” he said.