According to a new report, in the first six months of the year, Phnom Penh municipal police arrested 101 suspects in 75 incidences of bag snatching on the city’s streets.

Municipal police spokesman San Sok Seiha told The Post on July 19 that the suspects had been referred to court for further proceedings and that their fate would be at the discretion of the court.

“Once a suspect is in our custody, we send the case file and evidence to court for further legal action,” he said.

He said municipal police chief Sar Thet was closely involved in operations to target these kinds of crimes.

“We are aware that these crimes typically take place outside certain places, like banks and supermarkets, so as a preventative measure, we have stationed more officers at these locations,” he said.

“If we compare these figures with the previous two years, they appear high, but it is important to remember that the capital was locked down due to Covid-19 for much of that time. I believe our officers are doing an excellent job in suppressing these crimes,” added Sok Seiha.

People’s Centre for Development and Peace (PDP) president Yong Kim Eng said that targeting these kinds of opportunistic robberies was key to implementing the government’s safe village and commune policy.

“I believe the driving force behind these crimes is usually gambling or drug use. The police need to deploy more officers to keep citizens safe,” he said.