Bengaluru city police are big on social media. Their social media wing has a Twitter desk, Facebook desk, and an FM desk. While the Bengaluru City Police (@BlrCityPolice) have a following of 2.59 lakh on Twitter, the Commissioner of Police (@CPBlr) has a whopping 6.92 lakh followers. He is the most followed police chief in the world.
They receive complaints through tweets and forward them to the concerned police stations. They have two Facebook accounts as well– Bengaluru City Police (with 400+ lakh likes) and Bengaluru City Traffic Police (with 4.26+ lakh likes), where they post awareness messages, details of recovered property, press notes, etc. A web-based WhatsApp number of City Police control room – 9480801000– has been publicised and opened to public to post complaints. They also have groups for community policing at various levels; beat wise, police station wise, sub-division wise, division wise, and senior police officer’s group.
Established in 2015, the command centre is headed by Mr. M.G. Nagendra Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police. The centre has several wings such as a Dial 100- complaint wing, Hoysala wing, social media wing, media monitoring wing, CCTV wing and more. The centre receives 10,000 to 15,000 calls every day through the complaint wing. Sixteen call-takers and four dispatchers work round the clock, but the peak hours for crime-related calls are from 5pm to 10pm, Mr Kumar said. Hoysalas, or distress-attending vehicles, are kept on standby at vulnerable areas (decided by the police), and their aim is to provide immediate response to any complaint. The city has 270 such vehicles and are monitored closely by MDT or Media Display Terminal on which the live status and even the history of the vehicle can be accessed from the control room.
The police have also installed 350 CCTV cameras all over the city, including 179 traffic cams, that help the police keep a track of the goings-on in every corner of the city.
While the police still rely on wireless technology as a basic line of sight, its utilization is coming down as they are adapting to modern technology. An active presence of the Bangalore city police helps get in direct touch with the public and encourages feedback. It provides administrative transparency and is helpful in running campaigns. “Bengaluru is the silicon city. Between 50% and 60% of the people use social media, and through the same we are giving them a platform to conveniently post their complaints, which we immediately address,” Mr Nagendra Kumar said.