Community pledges to get behind police and CCF in war against drugs

The community where CCF works has pledged to back a continued drive to clear up the drugs problem in the area after the success of recent months.

CCF has been working with the local police in an effort to clear out drug dealers targeting the Steung Meanchey area of Phnom Penh. The Cambodian government has recently extended its own long-running anti-drug campaign after making significant strides in tackling the drug problem across the country.

More than 400 residents in the community attended an evening public meeting with local police to hear what new measures are being taken.

As night began to all, CCF founder Scott Neeson thanked the gathered crowds for their help so far in getting rid of drugs in the area but stressed that the police still need their support to continue their work.

“The police are working every day and every night to try and rid the Steung Meanchey community of people who sell drugs,” he said.

“The good news is that through the combined efforts of the community, Community Outreach  and the police, the number of drug sellers has been reduced significantly.

“The bad news of course is that there are still people here who are selling drugs.”

A boy had been caught using methamphetamine the week before, he said, and “as we pledged at the last meeting, the person who sold the drugs was arrested within 36 hours and was in jail.”

He vowed that anyone selling drugs to a child, someone under the age of 18, schoolchildren or a CCF child, would be in jail within a week.

“That’s our promise.”

He added that drug users would be treated as “victims and we will assist them to get detox in every case.”

Renewed efforts to clean up the area of drugs “can only work if the entire community supports our campaign,” he said.

In a unanimous show of hands, the community voted to back to the work of CCF and the local police.

Banners and signs put up for the meeting had messages such as “Drugs Destroy Our Lives!” and “Say No To Drugs.”

Lak Sidet, an officer from the Steung Meanchey District Police, warned of the consequences of using drugs.

“If you take drugs you will want to do it again the next day and that is the start of the slide into addiction.

“When you take drugs, it will destroy your health and your future. It is very addictive and people steal from family and the community to get money to take more drugs.”

He urged people in the community to use anonymous hotline numbers to tip off police about any dealers or users in the area.

“We will make sure that they are arrested,” said officer Lak Sidet.

By Kate Ginn/CCF

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