While everyone is trying to add a feather to their cap, Bangalore City Police has added a very powerful weapon to its arsenal. Social Media.(1)
The IT City’s Police Department too has now understood the importance of reaching out to people via Social Media; and it has teamed up with Havas Worldwide Digital Matrix to take a leap forward in the right direction with regard to this matter.
Starting off with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the launched Police Community Engagement Programme has been described as a tool for crisis management and to look into and address the problems of citizens with respect to crime, law and order and traffic. Seeing the fact that Bangalore Traffic Police already has a separate Facebook Page that’s doing decently well, I doubt traffic will be one of the focus of this page.
This initiative plans to build a community of citizens over social media which would be instrumental in increasing awareness about various other programs that has been started by the Bangalore Police – Elders Helpline (1090), Children Helpline (Makkala Sahayavani – 1098) and Women Helpline (Vanitha Sahayavani – 1091). Each of these has been included as an individual tab in the Bangalore City Police’s FB Page and has details on what the program is about and contact details.
On its part, Havas Worldwide Digital Matrix will be using its experience in this field to help build the earlier said Community Engagement Program and assist the Police in building their own team of Social Media Managers (Good pension plan for those officers!). They will also be making their communication tool ReputeMe.com available to the Police to help in better reach with the online community.
It is a good step taken by the Bangalore Police to try to get to the citizens on a more personal level. They can expect a lot many queries and complaints to be posted on their page. It remains to be seen how well they respond to it. Obviously, with this given opportunity, one can expect a good number of people to come out with complaints which they would not have been able to report directly at a Police Station.
Take for example one post I read on their wall today – one guy had complained about a police officer who took a cupcake (or something similar) from a bakery while the van was being unloaded, without paying. No response has been given by the page admin to this till the time of writing of this post.
I sincerely do hope Bangalore City Police takes this initiative seriously and doesn’t end up making a fool of the public. Something the PMO account did on Twitter.
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