The Mumbai police’s Twitter handle, which was started on December 28 last year, is becoming popular with every passing day as residents are alerting the police about illegal and criminal activities in the city. The police in response are registering first-information reports (FIR), taking suo motu cognisance and also keeping the identities of citizens confidential. Now, a new police diary called a Twitter handle book is being maintained.
On July 26, a young lady from Tardeo had a fake profile of hers put up on Tinder, which is a dating site. She contacted the Mumbai police through their Twitter handle @MumbaiPolice. The miscreant had put up her photo and given her mobile phone number as well.
The woman received plenty of phone calls from men who spoke inappropriately, insulting her modesty. She went to Tardeo police station to file a FIR but as she felt the process was lengthy, she contacted police through Twitter. The Mumbai police followed her and as instructed, she sent her personal details through a private message.
“We have kept her identity confidential. She was worried as her fake profile was active even as the FIR process was on. We quickly contacted the cyber police and asked them to contact Tinder to block the profile as soon as possible. A probe is now on to find the accused,” said assistant police inspector Ashwini Koli, who has been entrusted with leading the Twitter team and taking necessary action on the complaints received on their Twitter handle and sending a daily report to joint commissioner, law and order, Deven Bharti, who is the chief of all police stations in the city.
On June 30, a citizen contacted Mumbai police through their Twitter handle and complained against soliciting and a prostitution racket going on at Juhu beach. Taking suo motu action, two FIRs were registered and four women were arrested.
Similarly, on July 22, a citizen tweeted about soliciting and a prostitution racket going on at Marve Road near Malwani gate no. 1 after which a FIR was registered and two women were arrested.
In July, a minor girl was being made to beg by her own mother on the road in Ghatkopar. A citizen alerted the police on Twitter, following which a case was registered and the girl was rescued and sent to a shelter home.
The complainant complimented the Mumbai police for their swift action. In February, a couple of citizens tweeted about the sale of illegal gutkha in Dongri and Khar, after which cases were registered and the accused arrested.
The Mumbai police officials said of the 100 per cent complaints, 50 per cent were related to traffic, followed by crime against women and cybercrimes. Senior police officials said the Twitter handle has got good response and helps them in directly interacting with the public. They are thinking of increasing their team’s strength to fight crime with the help of citizens.
The Mumbai Police twitter handle was started on December 28 last year and in seven months, it got 3.23 lakh followers and about 8,011 tweets and re-tweets.