Cops to reach out to people via WhatsApp

Cops to reach out to people via WhatsApp

The Rajasthan Police are trying to use WhatsApp as a tool to curb crime, with the initiative being taken on a pilot basis in Jhalawar, home constituency of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

A mobile phone number has been circulated in the district on an experimental basis, with people being asked to log on to WhatsApp, send in details of crimes in their surrounding areas and get quick response from the police.

If people come across  any illegal activities, such as harassment of women or eve-teasing, gambling, selling of intoxicants, rash driving, accidents or any other crime, they have been advised to immediately take a picture or a video or even send a text message to this number via WhatsApp. The local police would be immediately instructed to take action on it.

“It is an experimental project. For the time being, I am monitoring it to analyse how the response is and ascertain that effective action is also being taken on complaints,” said Jhalawar Superintendent of Police (SP) Rahul Barhat.

Meanwhile, all police stations in Rajasthan will now be appraised annually, like it happens in the cooperate sector. 

In a bid to check the increasing crime rate in the state, police have devised a new mechanism to evaluate the performances of its officials.  The top brass has decided to prepare exclusive report cards of all the police station and their officials, right from constable to SP rank. Officials and police stations will be ranked on the basis of the these report cards. Top performers will be felicitated while low-scorers will be penalised.

Senior police officials explained that the criteria of reviewing the performance has been finalised, and the new mechanism will be implemented shortly.  This is for the first time in the country that such an initiative is taken.

“As many as 18  criteria have been prepared to analyse the performance of police officials. Those solving rape cases in time will be given maximum points, while those taking bribes will be given maximum negative marking,” said a senior police official on condition of anonymity. Officials said that the other criteria for evaluation include regular interaction with locals, complaints against officials, number of times SP and senior officials had to go to the crime spot, meetings with CLG members, time taken for solving small cases and completing verification work.

The basic objective behind the entire exercise is to check increasing rape incidents and motivate the police to take prompt action. “It’s a good initiative. You cannot have the same approach for hard-working officials and non-performers. At the end of the day, we are here to provide safety and security. The department cannot afford to earn brickbats  due to just a few non-performers,” said a senior police official.

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