After an official missive sent out by Alok Mohan, Director General Of Police, it is now compulsory for every Karnataka policeman to hold a social media account on Facebook/Twitter/ WhatsApp.
After cases such as of Maryanna Abdo, this move comes across as the natural next step to ensure the success of initiatives undertaken by the police squad and to help the authority be responsive to grievances. It will keep civilians in the loop about action taken against crime prevention, crime detection, surveillance of crime, and other initiatives.
On the other hand, according to an officer, the recent murder of the Kannada literary scholar MM Kalburgi was discussed about unabashedly on social media. Weforth, with the police squad now holding social media accounts, they can keep a tab on the miscreants who encourage such activity on platforms and create strategies to counter it or curb it.
Additionally, citizens tend to be more expressive on their social media platforms, thus proving to be a medium that would give away evidence, if required for a particular incident of crime, as mentioned by an IT analyst from the cyber wing of the Karnataka polcie department. Today, it seems to be a credible source to help put the pieces of cases together. However, the fact that one could also delete posts/tweets/ messages cannot be denied.
Police and other security forces using social media for law and maintenance is now a global norm. In recent news, Bourne Police Department (Massachusetts) uses its Facebook page to keep netizens informed in a quirky manner.
A recent post on the page read, “This summer has seen the introduction of the Canal Zip Line, 2 Canal Catapults, the Canal Cannon and the Canal Ferry, while capacity improvements have been made to the existing Canal Tunnel and Submarine service.” The post drew over a 1000 likes.
Additionally, the police force uses light hearted content such as minion sightings to convey their message about the city’s status.
All in all, police men on social media seems to do more good than bad, as action can be taken towards an offline incident that is being talked about online or towards the wrongful use of social media. It will help the police be at the virtual scene of the crime and carry out some damage control, if required.