Deputy National Police chief Thong Lim has instructed police officers to increase efforts to protect foreigners in the country, following a report that showed they were victimised more last year.
At the Ministry of Interior’s annual meeting on Tuesday with representatives of diplomatic corps, Lim said the annual discussion with embassies was intended to strengthen collaboration and exchange of information to find swift solutions for foreign investors and tourists.
“Foreigners encountered more problems last year than in 2018. Authorities must step up efforts to safeguard them.
“Officials must be more attentive and ensure security, safety and public order, especially at target embassies and residences, as well as for diplomatic officials, foreign investors and tourists,” he said.
A report issued at the meeting noted that foreign investors and tourists were victimised in 558 cases last year, an increase of 31, or about five per cent, from 2018. There were 681 victims in the cases, of whom 245 died and 100 were injured.
The majority of the victims were Chinese, Vietnamese, French, English and US nationals. Most of the incidents occurred in Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk provinces and Phnom Penh.
The number of foreign perpetrators also increased last year, with 324 cases involving foreigners, an increase of 49 cases, or about 15 per cent, compared to 2018.
As a result of police work on those cases, 1,433 foreigners of 40 different nationalities were detained across the Kingdom.
The report also noted that the Chinese embassy filed 57 complaints seeking intervention, followed by the Indian embassy with 32.
It said police did a good job safeguarding delegates and diplomatic officials on official visits to the country.
Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief Sar Thet said the authorities in the capital are striving to strengthen protection for foreign visitors and investors.
“We are striving to continue this work every day. It cannot be said that we don’t do this work at all. If we compare it from one month to another, there are always ups and downs. But we handled the cases and brought them under control,” he said.