Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has given the green light to open a police shooting range in Kampot province.

Built on 7ha in Kampot town’s Andong Khmer commune, the Bokor Shooting Club is located on land belonging to the provincial police.

In a letter, Sar Kheng said: “The Kampot provincial police need to organise a proper location and follow proper technical standards. It needs to create a team to check the technical training involved with real shooting and ensure that there is property security and management on the ground.

“Through the National Police, the Kampot provincial police have to report to the interior ministry about the operation of range once every three months,” the letter stated.

Provincial police chief Mao Chanmathurith said the facility is created for forces in the province to train, especially special intervention forces. A specific place for training, he said, is needed to enhance their skills.

“The military and Military Police forces have their own places to train. This is a first for the Kampot provincial police. Construction started in March and the construction is 40 per cent complete.

“Creating this training ground is significant. In various countries like the US, there is regular training to enhance the skills of specialised forces and officers in the use of all types of weapons,” he said.

The Kampot provincial police office numbers around 1,700 officers, 100 of whom are from special intervention unit. District and commune police can also train at the site, while military and Military Police forces need prior permission if they want to use the facility.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said he had not received news about the training ground in Kampot, but he said it is normal to have such facilities in different places.

“We permit the creation of shooting ranges. They exist in all [countries],” he said.