Friday, October 30, 2015

From awareness on stalking to guiding a complainant, cops now use Twitter at ease

Hyderabad Police advt on stalking
IF YOU are a police officer and active in Twitter, get ready for queries in social media too. And mind it, it’s not just queries alone, if you can’t crack the case, be prepared to get adverse feedback on your “inability” – and that too, all in an open forum. First, here is a recent Twitter conversation of a complainant who lost his laptop with the Bengaluru police which through its official Twitter handle trying to guide the complainant:

Complainant: "@goyal_abhei Sir, My laptop was stolen from a restaurant. I got the ip address of the person using my laptop. Please help me in getting it"
(IPS officer Abhishek Goyal forwards it to the department concerned saying: “Pls report it to your Police Station”
Bengaluru City Police: “Please lodge a complaint at jurisdictional Police Station or send more details to
Complainant: “I tried to lodge an FIR but police is not writing FIR. My brother waited for 3 hours in police station”
Bengaluru City Police: “Please provide Police Station details”
Complainant: “It's Koramangala Police station. I have also written the email on email id you gave with all the details”
Bengaluru City Police: “Forwarded to @kmangalabcp PS for necessary action”
Complainant: “Thanks Sir. I hope some action will be taken after this.”
Third Person: “…How do u get IP address of person using the laptop??”
Complainant: “My Gmail was logged in and he opened the browser. Gmail keep track of all the ip address from which you access it.”
Third Person: “… where in Gmail can u see IP address of usage?”
Complainant: “in bottom right corner you can see the details link. Go click it and find out.”

A few days later...
Complainant: “…it's been 3 weeks now and no FIR registered. Shame on you police. How we feel safe?...Police is now not writing FIR because I don't have bill of 5 year old laptop.”

This is Twitter. And the entire conversation did take place in public domain.
Meanwhile, the police officers have effectively used the Facebook and Twitter, two of the popular social media sites, for sensitizing people on safety. For example, a number of police officers now-a-days spread small films and advertisements though this medium. The photo used here is related to Hyderabad Police’s initiative called SHE TEAM which guides woman on how to challenge stalking.
“If you are experiencing stalking at your work, you can do the following:
Trust your instincts
Tell a colleague or speak with
Keep evidence
Don't respond
Press SOS button…” says the advertisement.
Finally, if a police department wants a good idea, it also resorts to tweet and then marks a copy to none other than writer Chetan Bhagat who is often accused of giving solution to each problem that India faces! Kerala Police, for example, marked a copy to Bhagat when it asked people to give new ideas for improving policing.

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