Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Blue glow’ helped trap child rape victim’s attacker



‘Blue glow’ helped trap child rape victim’s attacker

‘Blue glow’ helped trap child rape victim’s attacker

In a small provincial village, a four-year-old girl was snatched from her home during the night, taken to a nearby rice field and brutally raped.

Her mother found her in the morning with one eye swollen shut and a ragged wound on her throat where her attacker had tried to crush her windpipe. A family friend, who was known as an “uncle”, was suspected but wouldn’t confess.

The police called in the Child Protection Unit (CPU) and one of the detectives sprayed the suspect’s hands with luminol, a chemical used to detect traces of blood.

From under the man’s fingernails a tell-tale blue glow emerged. That forensic evidence would make all the difference, said James McCabe, the head of the CPU. “[The suspect] was charged and he will end up being convicted. What was a weak case is now very strong.”

McCabe said Cambodian police already used basic forensic techniques – such as taking fingerprints and footprints and crime scene photography – but the CPU was helping them take their craft to the next level.

The use of luminol was just one of the new techniques the CPU has introduced. Others included the creation of detailed crime scene diagrams and DNA collection.

This has helped the standard of investigation procedures improve in Cambodia’s countryside. “We’re seeing an enormous improvement,” said McCabe. “And it’s the CNP who are doing it. They have a real want to use new techniques and to work.”

Many provincial police officers had received training in advanced investigative techniques but due to a lack of resources had rarely been able to put them into practice before.

“Thanks to the CPU, we can solve cases much more quickly and more easily than before,” said Tith Bunna, a senior CNP officer and head of crime scene investigation.

MOST VIEWED

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to