| A screenshot of the Purnea police’s webpage on Facebook. Telegraph picture |
Purnea police’s newly launched webpage on a popular social networking website, inviting people to report illegal activities in the bordering town and also about acts of omission and commission of the cops, has evoked good response.
The first-of-its-kind Facebook web page on police in the state, formally launched on May 9, has been liked by 178 people and has received 61 posts so far. The credit goes to young IPS officer and Purnea superintendent of police (SP) Amit Lodha, who is also an IIT graduate from Delhi.
The SP said people can post videos and pictures related to their complaints or the police on the Facebook webpage, Purnea Police, or the website, http://purnea-police.bih.nic.in/. “We are now on Facebook and appeal to people to help police maintain law and order,” Lodha said.
The police found the initial comments of the visitors to the website encouraging. “I had not expected that the website will receive good comments from the residents of a remote town like Purnea, which is around 400km northeast of the state capital. It looks good when people make positive comments about the police,” Lodha told The Telegraph.
A majority of the visitors to the website are youngsters, who frequent the Internet. One Suray Roy posted on the website: “It is obviously a good idea for the public of Purnea. But if we want to complain about any (police) officer, when and where should we do that?” Pat came the SP’s reply. “(You) may complain anytime and anywhere. If there is any problem, then call on my official mobile number 09431822998.”
Similarly, Vaibhav Kumar posted: “I hope now crime in Purnea will be minimised.” Jawed Anjum posted: “Sir. Good to see on Facebook. Now easy to register complaint.”
“In the age of science, social networking is considered to be the best means to seek information. Even today people don’t want to visit a police station to lodge a formal complaint or give any information about illegal activities going on in the area. Now, they can approach the senior officers through the website sitting in their offices or homes,” said Sanjay Sinha, a resident.
Lodha said the website is updated from time to time. “Though the Lucknow police launched such a website, it failed to evoke response for reasons best known to them. But the way our website has received response, it is really encouraging for the district police,” he added.
Lodha had earlier started a blog to seek suggestions from people to improve law and order when he was the SP of Begusarai. A similar initiative to connect the police stations through Internet and upload the FIRs was taken by this 1998-batch IPS officer when he was posted as senior superintendent of police, Gaya.
He said social networking sites can also be used for eradicating traffic menace in busy towns. “People can click pictures of traffic violations on their mobiles and record videos of traffic violations anywhere and post them on Facebook. The prosecuting agency can use the videos and pictures as evidence against the offenders,” he added.