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Cambodian Police Give Young Drug Offenders a Clip

By: EAS staff Posted: January-01-2006 in
EAS staff

Frustrated Cambodian police turned hairdressers this week in an effort to teach the fashion-conscious youth of today the dangers of drugs in a way they might understand - by ruining their expensive hairdos.

Deputy Military Police Chief of Banteay Meanchey province on the Thai border, Ou Borin, said his men had put down their guns and taken up hair clippers, shaving unsightly shapes into repeat offenders' quiffs to show them life isn't all about party drugs.

"They have been warned about drugs but they still take them, so we have begun shaving a cross across their heads and a circle just above their eyebrows," he said by telephone. "We have 100 juveniles and young people here awaiting charges. We don't have the food or the space, and afterwards they just do it again and come back, so we are trying a different method."

To make it worse, police then released photos of 10 young men looking ridiculous to the newspapers, which gleefully ran them, much to the distress of the lads, all aged between 18 and 23.

Better-off youth in Cambodia are as fashion conscious as the next country, and spend vast amounts of their income on designer clothes and elaborate haircuts and rinses trying to imitate their pop music idols of Thailand and Korea.

"The police ask them to leave and try to educate them, but they refuse and insult us. We can't do anything with them because they will never listen. We hope this will get the message through," Borin said.


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