Karnataka Police going social media savvy?

In an attempt to turn around its image and increase reach, the state police department is planning to rope in bloggers and net-savvy youth to run an online PR drive. Senior police officials are finalising the proposal which, once approved, will have a dedicated social media cell functioning at the state police headquarters to monitor social media and respond to grievances and complaints.

“We will have a dedicated team of internet experts who will be recruited on a contract basis and will be deployed for monitoring the social media activities of the department,” said Om Prakash, director-general and inspector-general of police (DG&IGP).

According to senior police officials, the proposal is still in the nascent stage and a dedicated team is expected to start functioning, with about six to seven people proficient in English and Kannada. Om Prakash said the project was part of the initiatives in the pipeline aimed at making the department more technology friendly so as to reach out to maximum people. The online team will also periodically submit reports to the department on the approval and disapproval ratings after analysing social media trends based on the comments and grievances posted by users. “As of now, our presence on these platforms is limited except within the city, where the traffic and city police are active on Facebook. We want to extend it to other districts in a professional manner. We also plan to use this team to generate online content for the department to make the public aware of our initiatives,” said Bhaskar Rao, ADGP, crime and technical services.

Senior police officials also opined that mainstream media was focusing only on negative issues and was allegedly responsible for tarnishing the image of the department. The decision to be pro-active on social media, according to them, was an attempt to counter this ‘negativity’. “The proposal for the special media cell has been approved by the government in principle, but we will submit a detailed report in the coming days,” said a senior police official.

Bengaluru itself has seen a series of crimes especially armed robbery, theft and assault especially targeting women and senior citizens in recent weeks. According to the recently released NCRB statistics, Bengaluru city alone had 201 cases of murder and another 481 cases of attempt-to-murder in 2015. The city also had 112 cases of rape and 11,409 cases of theft registered in 2015. Bengaluru city also had 707 abduction cases involving 796 victims in 2015 in addition to 707 cases of robbery and 402 cases of house break-ins.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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