Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said the training and drilling of National Police officers is a necessary, indispensable task, and must be constantly carried out to ensure national security and public order.

He presided over the December 27 passing out ceremony of a leadership training course for police officers at the Police Academy of Cambodia in Kien Svay district, Kandal province.

“Constant training is necessary. We must evolve as crime evolves. If we fail to keep up with the technology used by criminals, national security itself may be under threat. This could include the hacking of public and private institutions or the potential loss of confidential documents or information,” he said.

He added that without regular updating of police officer’s intelligence gathering and investigative skills, crimes like drug trafficking, human trafficking or money laundering could become commonplace.

“Continuous training aims to build the capacity of all police officers to a point where they have the knowledge and skills to fulfill their duties in any and all circumstances,” he continued.

Seng Phally, president of the Police Academy, said a total of 303 officers had completed the specialised training, including 21 women.

He added that the academy would begin its next series of courses in early January.

“This training reflects the academy’s responsibility to implementing the reform programme and human resource development plan of the interior ministry,” he said.

The course aimed to strengthen the quality of leadership and management in each police unit.

Sar Kheng discussed the reforms he had introduced to the police force, including the commune-level recruitment of officers, mandatory drug testing of all recruits, and new audit procedures for proposed promotions or transfers.

In addition, he proposed that all drivers be drug tested, although the number of times per year this would take place had yet to be determined.

“New amendments to the traffic laws will require the drivers of all types of vehicles to undergo drug testing. The government is still finalising the details of the new law,” he added.

He said that in principle, all drivers must be tested, including motorcyclists and tuk tuk drivers.

“This mandatory testing is designed to curb the use of illegal drugs and reduce traffic accidents, both of which pose a real threat to public safety, and both of which are of serious concern to the authorities,” he concluded.