“Information is coming in but we need local informers to eradicate roadside drug peddling.
This cannot be done without a common number within reach of every citizen,” said Sunil Paraskar, deputy commissioner of Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC).
Paraskar said the ANC’s crackdown on roadside peddlers required assistance of local residents and informers.
But the average citizen who witnesses drug peddling is hesitant to contact the ANC officers directly on the mobile numbers, as they are worried about revealing their identities, he added.
To address this problem, the ANC has come up with a common helpline number that will be launched within a month. This number will connect directly to the deputy commissioner of police (DCP).
“Till now our officers’ mobile numbers were with their sources and informers. But we would lose out on the locals who spot peddling and consumption in their streets,” said Paraskar.
“A lot of people even avoid giving any information fearing that identities would get revealed,” added Paraskar.
But with the new mobile number, informers can send SMSes directly to the DCP.
“This number will only be with me. People who want to talk to me for advise can also leave a text message that would be answered by me,” added Paraskar.
Paraskar explained that if an informer messages him about a rave party or peddling, the DCP will rush his team from the nearest ANC unit to raids and arrest the offenders.
But if the tip-off is not urgent, then it will be dealt after verification.
“There are many restrictions on ANC when it comes to conducting raids and making arrests. Each SMS would be dealt based on its importance,” Paraskar said.
Paraskar further added that if a student notices drug peddling around his college campus, he does not have to approach the ANC unit directly or call the police control room.
He can send an SMS to the deputy commissioner on the number provided.