In the hope of making the police more accessible to the common man, the Maharashtra state police have given out mobile numbers for all commissionerates and district police offices across the state where people can text them on WhatsApp – a popular chat application. Also, with the goal of digitising the force, top police officers are in the process of starting an email facility that will equip even a constable in the state.
So far, most of the units of the state police have already started the mobile messenger service, only Mumbai and Navi Mumbai commissionerates are yet to have a dedicated number, which the police said would be started soon.
The idea behind the move is to ensure that the force gets adequate information, and at the same time remains easily accessible to citizens.
Praveen Dixit, director general of police, Maharashtra, said email addresses of policemen will be created as part of the digitisation process. “This will serve a dual purpose. The common man can quickly reach police officers with their grievances, while the department can implement the e-learning process in which the police personnel will be sent instructions or study material on their mail IDs,” Dixit said.
But, the use of WhatsApp complaints or grievances would not necessarily translate into an FIR, said police sources. An FIR would be registered only after the police station or officials concerned thoroughly verify the complaint.