Is it just me or does there seem to be a significant increase of armed police in PP?

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RickyBobby
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Re: Is it just me or does there seem to be a significant increase of armed police in PP?

Post by RickyBobby » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:49 pm

I saw one the other day and tried to be friendly and also asked for a selfie with him. He was stone-faced, and turned around, obviously not impressed and definitely not in the mood.
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John Bingham
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Re: Is it just me or does there seem to be a significant increase of armed police in PP?

Post by John Bingham » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:20 pm

xandreu wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:47 pm
I've noticed recently, in the most innocent of places, such as outside shopping malls, men in green uniforms with rifles hung over their shoulders, chatting idly with colleagues.

What's that all about? I don't remember seeing things like that before and I've been here for a couple of years.

I don't understand the police structure in Cambodia. I'm never sure if someone is a 'kind of' policeman (ie, with no real power, just there to make an extra buck or two out of minor traffic offences), an actual policeman, or a member of the military who happens to be performing the duties typically assigned to (what we westerners would think of) a policeman.

When they're armed, it says to me that they're the real deal.

But why am I noticing them more and more as of late?
There have always been security forces around markets and especially where there are gold-sellers. Loads of them turn up to block off the roads for VIPs. I've lived here for quite a while and I haven't noticed any more of them, more the opposite.

As far as the police go here, there are something like 22 different branches under the Ministry of Interior, under the command of Sar Kheng. These go from the regular khaki/fawn uniformed "sangkat" neighborhood police to the blue-shirted traffic police and then the bottle-green uniforms of the intervention or justice police on to the dark green or black uniforms of the elite Flying Tigers. These are just a few commonly known units, there are others that deal with border control/ trafficking etc.

There is also the Gendarmerie Royal, which is an army unit but has wide jurisdiction and has powers to travel across provincial lines and arrest civilians/ police/ army. They are often referred to in the press here as "Military Police" but that is a misleading name. They do fulfill that role but have a much larger function. They are also one of the more loyal units to the PM.

Then there is the bodyguard unit, directly under the command of the PM. The name might deceive you into thinking that these were just large guys paid to stand around. In reality the bodyguard unit is a fully-fledged army with tanks, APCs, rocket launchers, air-defence systems etc. They proved this during the conflict at Preah Vihear a decade or so back, they are very well trained and were right up there at the frontlines.

There are off-duty and plain-clothes cops all over the place and finally there are all the former cops/ army who do odd jobs around town and get a small stipend for watching the neighborhood. Between that and "concerned citizens" you aren't ever going to do anything here that escapes notice.
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