People in the city of Bengaluru will now be able to register police complaints through a dedicated mobile phone number in a first-of-its-kind service in the country.
The service was formally launched on Saturday by new Bengaluru City Police Commissioner NS Megharikh. The idea was earlier introduced by Megharikh’s predecessor MN Reddi as a parting gift to IT-savvy people of the city.
Whenever people file complaints on the dedicated mobile phone number 9480801000, they would receive a standard acknowledgement message that reads “We have received your complaint; it has been forwarded to xyz police station for necessary action.”
Every police complaint will reportedly be tracked by the jurisdictional deputy commissioner of police (DCP). The WhatsApp number is a part of an internal group, which includes DCPs and Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP). This would ensure accountability of officers working on the particular WhatsApp complaint.
Complaints are also now being registered by Bengaluru Police on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to the Emergency Phone No 100. The WhatsApp service was launched after it was found that not many people were active on Facebook and Twitter.
“All categories (students, businessmen, techies, women and ordinary citizens) use WhatsApp on their phones. They may have not created Twitter and Facebook accounts. They will not hesitate to reach out to us when required if we are available to them on WhatsApp. We want to ensure that we are accessible to all classes of people,” Reddi said.
“The Bengaluru police may not be up to the mark in cracking cases. But this is definitely a welcome move. Now, people will not have the trouble of visiting police stations or being harassed by corrupt cops while lodging complaints. Besides, now we will have direct access to top officers. What more transparency can people expect,” said techie Nikhilesh Singh.
The service was launched only following a two-month trial period that involved multiple police stations of the city.