What do you do if you find yourself caught in gunfire? How do you steer clear of agents who promise jobs abroad and dupe you? How do you ensure the property you want to buy is legal?
Answers to these and other questions are in a 22-page booklet the Mumbai police have published for the benefit of citizens.
The colourful booklet was launched on Friday and a few thousand copies distributed to visitors at the Mumbai police techno stall at the property fair in Bandra.
“Our aim is to spread awareness among citizens on issues that affect their daily lives. Crime is just one of them,” said Naval Bajaj, additional commissioner of police (south region), who conceptualised the booklet.
The booklet has tips for senior citizens and women, and lists precautions people should take to prevent vehicle thefts or when investing in private schemes that promise to double money in a couple of months.
If you have questions about anti-drink driving laws, the booklet briefly answers those too.
Bajaj said crimes such as job rackets, fraudulent investment schemes, and banking scams are perceived as less severe from the law and order perspective but affect ordinary citizens the most.
“We want to create awareness in these areas. Once the awareness spreads, instances of victimisation of gullible people will drop,” Bajaj said.
The police department plans to make one crore copies of the booklet available at police stations and later distribute them through housing societies.
The information featured in the booklet was complied by Feroz Patel, the police inspector who heads the Mumbai’s police’s Citizens’ Facilitation Centre.
The police have been using advertisements, billboards and pamphlets for their awareness campaigns.
“Earlier, we mostly published one-page pamphlets, which people would read and throw. But this booklet, with its detailed suggestions and important telephone numbers, is something people can keep with them.”
Bajaj said the police department is planning to rope in corporates to help cover printing costs that may go beyond the department’s limited budget.