Uttar Pradesh Police is all set to launch its latest initiative — Digital Mitra or Digital Volunteer — with a view to quell rumours and reach out to people.
The easiest way to be seen and noticed in social circles is to hang out with popular people. Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police recognise this, and will soon be joining hands with the state’s social media influencers on Twitter and Facebook to expand their digital reach.
The country’s largest police force is all set to launch its latest initiative — Digital Mitra or Digital Volunteer — in August on a pilot basis. Some handpicked volunteers — about 24 for the first phase in August — will start sharing and retweeting UP Police’s posts on their social media accounts, thereby helping expand the reach and visibility of the police’s messages.
Come August, some handpicked volunteers — about 24 to begin with — will start sharing and retweeting UP Police’s posts on their social media accounts
“If the police come to know about things happening at the grassroots level, we will be able to solve the problems through these people, whom we are going to call Digital Mitra or Digital Volunteer” — Rahul Srivastava, director general of police
The idea of roping in digital volunteers was given by inspector general of police, Allahabad range, Ramit Sharma. In a Facebook post in September 2015, he had emphasised the need to take community policing online and invited suggestions. “There is a need to translate the community policing structure of SPOs (special police officers) and peace committee members to the contemporary social media environment by associating social media influencers of local geographic reach and good credentials with police on various social media platforms,” wrote Sharma.
“I wrote that Facebook post after analysing that people are most active and vocal on virtual platforms. So, I thought of seeking suggestions from the public for this Digital Volunteer initiative. I was surprised to see the number of people who came forward with ideas and suggestions,” said Sharma, an IIT Kanpur graduate.
“When there is awareness among people regarding the digital platforms of the police, the condition of law and order will definitely improve,” said Sharma.
“When there is awareness among people regarding the digital platforms of the police, the condition of law and order will definitely improve” — Ramit Sharma, inspector general of police, Allahabad range
#dvupp डिजिटल साथी समाज से अराजक तत्व को पहचानने में मदद करेंगे
डिजिटल साथी ट्वीटर सोशल मीडिया पर एक्टिव हो
कानून में आस्था रखता हो
— yogendra singh (@yogendr71087092) June 22, 2017
I hv submitted my suggestion on DIGITAL VOLUNTEERS of @Uppolice .If u think u can give a better suggestions send it now n get a award#dvupp pic.twitter.com/cHCAodyzeW
— unknown (@_littel_boy) June 17, 2017
Last September, UP police became one of the first few government departments in the country to adopt Twitter Sewa, an initiative that seeks to connect people with administrators. FactorDaily had explained in a detailed post how the service is designed to work. The UP police tracks all the complaints logged by the social media cell of the DGP headquarter in Lucknow and issues a ticket for each complaint.
Reviewing the Twitter Seva initiative three weeks later, IANS reported that of the over 10,000 tweets received on the @UPpolice Twitter handle, 70% were addressed within hours. The article noted how the service enabled the police to prevent a suicide; help an elderly man whom someone was intimidating in Noida; settle domestic strife; and resolve traffic snarls.
Apart from UP police, Bengaluru City Police are also known for their net-savvy approach, helping people with crucial information and posting meme-updates, which have become wildly popular among netizens.