Pune’s WhatsApp ‘Buddy Cop’ going viral in the city keeping women safe
Buddy Cop is a WhatsApp group administered by a police officer where working women, especially in IT and banking sector, join to ensure they have immediate access to the police in a dire situationpune Updated: Sep 19, 2017 14:22 IST
The Pune police initiative called ‘Buddy Cop’, which aims to increase security of women through Whatsapp groups, will now be expanded across the city.
Senior police inspector Radhika Phadke, nodal officer for the initiative, claimed that the response received by the Buddy Cop initiative has started instilling a sense of security among women who are a part of it.The initiative was launched in March on Women’s Day by Pune police commissioner Rashmi Shukla, following the murder of an Infosys employee, Rasila Raju OP, on the company campus. Within six months, the police have been able to create 750 groups with over one lakh members.
The initiative, which functions and is managed primarily at the police-station level, was initially launched in five places in zones 3 and 4, where most IT parks are concentrated, said Shukla. However, the growing response led to the initiative expanding to all 19 police stations of the two zones.
Senior police inspector of the station, crime police Inspector, buddy cop and a few other officersSome groups will be monitored directly by zonal DCPs and divisional ACPs
Zone 3 includes Chaturshringi, Sangavi, Wakad, Hinjewadi, Pimpri, Nigdi, Bhosari, MIDC Bhosari and Chinchwad police stations; whereas zone 4 includes Vishrantwadi, Yerawada, Dighi, Khadki, Chandan Nagar, Vimantal, Wanavadi, Kondhwa, Mundhwa and Hadapsar police stations.
“We are now launching the Buddy Cop project for the entire city including all four zones,” Sudhir Hiremath, deputy commissioner of police, Economic Offence Wing (EOW) and Cyber Crime, told Hindustan Times on Monday.
Meant only for working women, thecompany where the woman works has to write to the police, according to Sudhir Hiremath. Therefore, the onus of verification falls on the company.
When asked about the possible misuse of personal contact numbers available on WhatsApp groups, Shukla said, “It is a group controlled by a cop. What is important is that it is a group which is being supervised by police officers or police personnels. Not just that, the person supervising a particular ‘buddy cop’ is the officer in-charge of the police station. He is also counter checking it. Then, there is senior police inspector Radhika Phadke, deputy commissioner of police Sudhir Hiremath, and I’m sitting here.”
When asked about the steps taken by police in order to regularise the sharing of personal information by the members of the group, commissioner Shukla said, “There are so many things which I cannot share. Today, there was a news about the mock drill. It has explained everything about the mock drill. So terrorists will know what mock drills mean. So every possible precaution has been taken. Now, who are the members of the group? Women and officers. Who are these women? Working women. Women working in IT sector or banks. So now, if a working woman herself needs support, why do you think will she compromise any other women’s security?”
The police will soon launch a mobile application named CitySafe in order to deploy the concept of Buddy Cop on an app-based system which will be accessible to all, regardless of their gender or registration of workplace.