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Bangalore City Police now allows citizens of Bangalore to send complaints via WhatsApp and SMS. Abhishek Goyal, DCP of Bangalore’s Crime Branch tweeted saying that citizens could send their complaints to +91-9480801000 detailing the issue.

The Bangalore City Police Department is known for its active use of social media including Facebook, and Twitter (Bangalore City Traffic Police) to monitor unlawful activities, bust crimes, and provide information.

Report crime through Periscope: In July, last year, Bangalore Police said that residents could use Twitter’s live streaming app Periscope to record videos of crimes and vehicles jumping traffic signals among other offences. The police control room would be able to find the location of the crime from the person shooting the video and alert jurisdictional police. Bangalore police also said that they would use the app to live stream its press conferences, through which people watching could comment and interact live.

Report traffic violations: In February 2015, it launched an initiative where residents could report traffic violations through its ‘Public Eye’ web and mobile applications. Citizens could report traffic violations by uploading a picture along with the vehicle registration number, type of violation, place and type of violation.

Twitter bust: In 2014, Bangalore Police successfully raided the offices of a fake online shopping portal called BigSop.com (now defunct) based on complaints received on Twitter. According to DCP (Crime) Abhishek Goyal, BigSop.com used to deploy pop-up advertisements that informed users that they had won an iPhone for Rs 599. Once customers registered and paid Rs 599, BigSop would convert it into points/credits instead of delivering the iPhone and force customers to buy some other product (most of it fake) of that price range available on the site.

https://twitter.com/goyal_abhei/status/533609792170782721/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

Other digital initiatives by the police:

-Last month, the Delhi Police said that it plans to using a ‘predictive policing’ mechanism in partnership with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). According to the cops, the system will help crime control and law and order and security management through analysis of relevant data and patterns.

-In October 2015, the Odisha Police launched an e-FIR system under the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) project, which has been sponsored by the Centre. This will allow the citizens in the state to file their complaints online across 531 police stations in the state.

-In August 2015, the Delhi traffic police launched an SMS alert service for users in case of traffic jams, water logging, accidents, roadblocks or traffic diversions,. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology will also provide bulk SMS service free of cost to the Delhi Police for this initiative for one year.

Image Credit: Flickr User Álvaro Ibáñez under CC BY 2.0