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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cambodian cops turn to hair clippers

Phnom Penh - Frustrated Cambodian police have resorted to hitting fashion-conscious party drug users where it hurts most to curb their criminal habits - by ruining their expensive hairdos.

Deputy Military Police Chief of the Thai border province of Banteay Meanchey, Ou Borin, said his men had swapped weapons for clippers, shaving unsightly shapes into repeat offenders' coiffures.

"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 to remind them," he said by telephone.

"We have 100 juveniles and young people here just today 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."

Several local newspapers featured a picture of 10 newly clipped young and once-hip offenders aged between 18 and 23 Wednesday.

In increasingly affluent Cambodia, better-off youth spend vast amounts of their income on designer clothes and elaborate haircuts and rinses, imitating pop music idols of Thailand and Korea.

"The police ask them to go home or educate them, but they just insult us. We can't do anything with them because they never listen. We hope this will get a message to them," Borin said. - Sapa-dpa .
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