You connect with your friends and family on WhatsApp. Now you can reach a police officer also on the mobile messaging application.
In the spirit of its earlier motto ‘With You For You Always’, the Delhi Police has come out with a pilot scheme to use WhatsApp for greater coordination among beat staff and better police-public interface.
The police have started creating chat groups on WhatsApp on beat basis where information and inputs will be exchanged between public and police personnel deployed on that particular beat. The force believes that the initiative will also help curb corruption among its ranks, besides reaching out to the public.
Senior police officers hope that the ease in sending text, audio, photos and videos through the application will also help them crack various cases and track criminals. Updates from both public and the beat staff can be accessed by the concerned SHO, ACP, DCP and Joint CP (range) simultaneously as they will also be made members of the group.
A pilot project has been started in some of the important beats in east and northeast district. Senior police officers claimed they are getting positive feedback from the public as they find the response time of the beat staff on their inputs and updates remarkable. RWA representatives and some other similar groups have been allowed access to report crime and illegal activities in their locality on WhatsApp groups.
Every WhatsApp chat group will be monitored by the district DCP and Joint CP of the range concerned. The senior officers will also inform the public over chat messages about action in cases of police high-handedness and corruption.
Joint CP (eastern range) Sanjay Beniwal, the brain behind the initiative, said the beat officers will be provided smartphones so that they can access the application.
“We have floated a proposal for procuring smartphones for our police staff. The beat officers have been made administrator of the WhatsApp group of their areas. Representatives of local residents, who will have access to the WhatsApp group, can register complaint on illegal activities, police high-handedness and corruption,” said Beniwal. He said all complaints will be handled by officers personally and be acted upon on merit.
Soon, similar chat groups will be started in all the 2,083 beats across the city. The information pertaining to the chat groups will be shared with public during fortnightly meetings between police and RWAs and other meetings.
“In case the staff of any particular beat is transferred, the official mobile and SIM card will be handed over to the replacements,” said a police officer.