Cops wake up to selfie danger, to assign deaths to the craze

Cops wake up to selfie danger, to assign deaths to the craze
Even as reports and private surveys indicate a jump in the number of selfie deaths, there is no specific record available with the government showing the number of selfie deaths in the city and state.

The police and health departments have decided to take the first step in this direction. The police department is discussing in detail on how a special mention can be made while reporting a case that it was because of taking a selfie. The health department also wants to reach out to those addicted to taking selfies and offer counseling.

According to research by Precog at IIIT Delhi, Karnataka has reported three selfie deaths till August 2017. Delhi reported four, Kerala two, Tamil Nadu eight and Maharashtra 14, said Prof Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, associate professor, IIIT Delhi, one of the researchers.

“We do not have any ready record. We need time to check every case before collating any figures. But looking at the increasing number of cases reported and eyewitness accounts, there is now a need for a special mention of selfie deaths in crime records,” said a senior officer from Central Crime Records Bureau.

The Bengaluru city police also do not maintain any such separate records. A senior official said establishing that the death was because of selfie becomes difficult as eyewitnesses turn hostile.

Dr Rajini P, Deputy Director, Mental Health, said World Health Organisation recently recognised taking selfies as a psychological problem. Taking selfies once in a while is not wrong, but addiction is an issue. There is a need to address this issue separately and offer counselling. So far, there is no specific selfie data, but now there is a need for one.

Nimhans director Dr B N Gangadhar said many people take seflies to show that they have achieved or done something thrilling or unusual. Selfies for some is an opportunity to make their life thrilling. So far, parents and children have come forward seeking counselling on cyber, mobile and other gadget addiction but not selfies.

Dr Yesheswini Kamaraju, director of Reach Clinic in Koramangala, also said there was a need for special attention to be paid on selfie issues as it was becoming a larger problem.

Warning boards
To create awareness and caution people, tourism, forest and horticulture department have put up over 500 boards in various parts of the state stating “No Selfie Zones.”

These boards have been erected near forest areas, road sides, coast lines, mountain peaks, cliffs, waterfalls, near water bodies, hillocks and other places.

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