While state police departments in Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka use Facebook to solve various issues related to administration, Uttar Pradesh (UP) police has gone a step further and started using Twitter to engage better with state residents.
The Twitter handle of UP Police – @UPPolicePR aims to bring more transparency in the state which is notorious for not listening to common man issues. Through the handle UP police ensure that they will listen and react swiftly:
@apoorv ADGP Arun Kumar has instructed every IG/DIG/SSP/SP of U.P.
— UPPolicePR (@uppolicepr) May 16, 2013
The effort by UP police is a welcome move as top brass of the department are now capable of monitoring public complaints such as bribe asked while registering First Information Report (FIR), traffic related problems, eve-teasing, domestic violence including other issues in real time.
As of now the handle has more than 1,300 followers with 652 followings and over a thousand tweets can be seen by the department. The handle also keep followers updated about recent crime and arrest carried out by the state police.
@_vikas_chauhan Vikas ji, let it go, whatever way it comes back its a boon, at least we have direct interaction with our real masters here..
— UPPolicePR (@uppolicepr) May 15, 2013
From what it seems like, the handle is handled by DG Law and Order of Uttar Pradesh, Arun Kumar and some of his subordinates; and is a genuine attempt to showcase a responsible and positive image of the state police. Infact, unlike the official PMOIndia which is extremely boring and is just PR-led, the UP police account has a human touch and actually comes across as a responsible force!
Importantly, presence of administrative bodies on social networks like Twitter dissipates the fear of common public while raising their concerns. Looking at so far tweets from the handle, the approach by the department appears to be very un-police-like, which is otherwise missing in offline world.
We certainly hope that this is for real and is not just a PR exercise by the state department.