From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Latest update: Safety & security section (Crime)

Although most visits are trouble-free, the British Embassy continues to receive crime reports from British nationals. Most of these are bag snatchings, often by thieves riding past on motorbikes. Bag straps have been cut and bags snatched from those on foot and passengers on moving tuk-tuks and motorbikes, often causing injury. Hotspots for petty crime include the riverfront and BKK areas of Phnom Penh, and the beaches and tourist areas of Sihanoukville and nearby islands.

In 2017, there have been incidents of female travellers, including British nationals, being sexually assaulted in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. This includes incidents of lone women being sexually assaulted by men claiming to be motorbike taxi drivers in the Pub Street area of Siem Reap. You should be vigilant at all times, especially when walking alone.

Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings:

  • use a hotel safe for your valuables
  • minimise the items you carry with you. If you carry a bag, make sure the strap is over your shoulder, away from the road to deter thieves on motorbikes from snatching it
  • take extra care at night and in isolated areas
  • be particularly vigilant travelling at night by bicycle or motorcycle, especially if you’re alone. Stick to well-used, well-lit roads and carry a personal alarm if possible
  • avoid placing bags in the front basket of bicycles
  • be wary of pickpockets, especially on public transport and in crowded areas
  • if you travel by bus, make sure cash and valuables you have are secured. There have been incidents where passengers have had items taken from bags while asleep.
  • tuk-tuks with metal grills on the back and side can offer some protection against bag snatching.

Police in Sihanoukville have been reporting instances of drink spiking and violence in the evening in some bars frequented by foreigners. Be vigilant, particularly in and around late night bars and don’t leave drinks unattended.

Parties, including organised dance parties on islands off the coast of Sihanoukville as well as in other locations, may place you at risk of sexual assault, robbery, injury, arrest, and lost belongings, including travel documents. These islands are often isolated and access to medical or emergency assistance is likely to be limited or non-existent. You should take appropriate precautions for your personal safety.

Local law enforcement responses to crimes, even violent crimes, are often limited and may fall far below the standard expected in the UK. Foreigners attempting to report crimes have reported finding police stations closed, emergency telephone numbers unanswered, or police unwilling to investigate crimes. Police will often not speak any English.

There have been reports of police charging fees for some services, including issuing police reports. Issuing a police report for crimes should not carry a fee. If you suspect an inappropriate fee is being demanded from you, report the matter by email to the British Embassy, including details of the police station.

Cambodians are friendly, but you should be wary if a Cambodian or other foreign national befriends you quickly and invites you to their home or hotel on the pretext of meeting their family.

Penalties for drug offences in Cambodia are severe and can include long jail sentences for possession of even small quantities of recreational drugs. Drugs have also caused a number of deaths of overseas visitors to Cambodia. These are suspected to be a result of purity issues, or adulteration by unknown substances.

The local equivalent to the UK ‘999’ emergency lines are: 117 for police, 118 for fire, and 119 for ambulance. If you need to report a crime in Phnom Penh, go to the Central Security Office at Number 13,Street 158, near Wat Koh. In Siem Reap, the Tourist Police office is next to the ticketing booth for the Angkor temple ruins. In Sihanoukville, Battambang and other towns in Cambodia, please seek advice from local police on which police station you should report to.

Money section

ATMs are available in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap and in some other major towns. Take care when withdrawing cash and be aware of your surroundings.

Not all ATMs and banks accept foreign debit and credit cards. Check with your bank before you travel. Credit cards aren’t widely accepted, but some hotels and businesses in larger cities will accept them.Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some banks and bureaux de change.

The US dollar is the main currency used in Cambodia. Prices in hotels, shops and restaurants are quoted in US dollars. Cambodian Riels are used only as small change at a rate of around 4000 Riels/US$1.

There have been recent reports of counterfeit dollar notes being given as change in shops and clubs. Difficulties can also be encountered when trying to spend damaged notes. You should check that notes you receive are genuine and aren’t damaged or torn. Banks and money exchange shops will sometimes replace damaged notes but will often charge for this service.

It may not be possible to exchange Northern Irish and Scottish bank notes.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at: http://ift.tt/10wlqRO

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