Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday launched the Mumbai police’s official Twitter handle, @MumbaiPolice, and the Mumbai police commissioner’s handle, @CPMumbaiPolice.
Twitterati welcomed the Mumbai police’s handle— it got over 6,600 followers on the first day itself, and got congratulatory tweets from celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra, Sachin Tendulkar, and Harsha Bhogle. The city police’s counterparts in Delhi and Bangalore, too, welcomed its use of Twitter.
The CM inaugurated the Twitter handles from the office of police commissioner Ahmad Javed. The city police believe that their having a presence on social media is a pressing need. “Any problem can be addressed on Twitter. It is a better conversation medium widely used in today’s age and is needed. We will soon also be on Facebook,” Javed said.
The Mumbai police handle tweeted: “Why should police stations be the only place we meet? Let’s meet here every day #MumbaiPoliceOnTwitter”.
Another senior police officer said that this step was long overdue, considering the wide reach of social media.
Mumbaiites can now tweet their complaints and grievances to the Mumbai police and the police commissioner. A dedicated team administering the handles will report the important tweets to the commissioner of police for action.
Important complaints will be forwarded to the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) of the zone under which the place of offence falls. The DCP will then forward them to the police station concerned, an officer said.
The Mumbai police also see Twitter as an effective tool to put an end to rumours. This year the Mumbai police had a hard time dealing with rumours of communal clashes in the city.
Many police officers had then used the messaging tool WhatsApp to send appeals to the citizens not to believe the rumours.