7 tips to reduce opportunistic crime against women in Cambodia

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Incidents of opportunistic crime such as theft and bag snatching have increased in Phnom Penh, Cambodia over the past year. Reports over the past 3 months have shown an increase in the targeting of women.

There are numerous factors that have caused this increase in crime; an influx of people from the provinces to the capital Phnom Penh looking for work, higher rates of unemployment, increased methamphetamine use, increased gambling and an increase in tourist numbers.

These factors coupled with the issue that Cambodia still has a mainly reactive police force that is unequipped, under resourced and often unwilling to proactively deal with increased social crimes, has meant that opportunistic crimes against women are becoming more frequent.

In many cases, the risk of opportunistic theft and robbery, in particular bag snatching has been increased because the victim has not been vigilant.
Girl at ATMThese are 5 tips that can mitigate the risk of theft and robbery against women in Cambodia.

  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash and valuables. Its not required.
  • Don’t wear expensive jewellery like necklaces and bangles. Leave them in the safe at home.
  • Don’t carry handbags. If a handbag needs to be carried, ensure that it has a sturdy strap and is worn across the shoulders and chest.
  • If carrying bags or handbags, always carry them on the non-road side of the footpath to reduce ease of snatching.

Drunk young woman resting head on bar counter

  • When withdrawing money from an ATM try to have another person present.
  • If travelling home after dark using a motodop or tuk tuk, use a trusted person used previously or travel in company with a friend or work colleague.
  • If going to a bar or nightclub, never leave opened drinks unattended. Thieves will often use drugs to assist with their theft.


These all might sound like very basic tips that all women should know about and practice, however complacency will always proven to get you into trouble.