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US forces to aid local police in gang control

US forces to aid local police in gang control

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Footage of gang activity is screened behind Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak on Friday during a conference to discuss how to best combat gang violence.

THE Ministry of Interior has decided to take new measures in its fight against street gangs, announcing on Friday that US law enforcers will help equip local police to control a local wave of gang-related crime.

“US police will come to Cambodia in January to give presentations on gang control in their country,” National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith
said following a conference at the Ministry on Friday.

He added that the Cambodian government is currently translating and reviewing US legislature on gang control in order to incorporate their policies into a new draft law on gang control.

In June 2009, the Cambodian government issued a statement encouraging local authorities to be intolerant of gang activity.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak stated that 8,689 gang members were apprehended in police crackdowns nationwide since 2006, and that 454 gang members were sent to court on criminal charges.

He said Kampong Cham province was shown to have the most gang activity, followed by Banteay Meanchey, Takeo, Battambang and Phnom Penh.

“Gangs affect public order. We must control them,” he said.

Nuon Bophal, deputy director of the Central Department of Judicial Police, said the crackdown on gang crime could not be handled by authorities alone and called for public cooperation, urging people to call police hotlines 117 or 118 to report gang-related activity.

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