Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coimbatore City police's Facebook page a big hit among residents

A resident suggests on the Facebook page of the Coimbatore police that more traffic policemen on night duty should be provided with breath analyzers to check instances of drunk driving. so that unhealthy practice of inhaling air from mouths of others could be stopped.

Another seeks intervention of city police commissioner Amaresh Pujari against policemen who ask for bribes during passport verification.

Barely two weeks after the commissioner started the Facebook page to interact with city residents, over 2,254 persons have already aired their views on various aspects of policing through the forum. On most occasions the commissioner himself responds with solutions, while his subordinates reply to queries in his absence.

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Tamil Nadu Electricity Board employee Balasubramaniyan posted a question on the page as to why all traffic police constables in night round are not provided with breadth analyzers. "On many occasions, I see policemen asking two-wheeler riders to blow to know whether they consumed alcohol or not. It is not good for the health of policemen on traffic duty to inhale the air from the mouths of others," Balasubramaniyan reminds the commissioner. A pleased commissioner assures Balasubramaniyan of immediate measures to rectify it. He also explains the fund constraints that prevent the force from ensuring breath analyzers to all.

Besides, some citizens are also taking the initiative to correct wrong perceptions with regard to functioning of the police. A woman who had recently moved back to India, sought action through the Facebook page against a neighbour who had diverted sewage into her residential compound. However, a visitor to the page clarified that action could be taken against the neighbour only by the city corporation and not the police. The visitor also provided a detailed description of the powers of the city corporation in dealing with such persons.

Among different sections of the city police, the traffic police received some positive reviews from net users. A number of visitors expressed their appreciation for traffic police constables deputed on the dusty Mettupalayam Road. Some of them even recommended face masks for them. But there were complaints about the functioning of police as well. A visitor charged that sought intervention of the commissioner against policemen who seek bribes during verification for issuing passports.

the bribe for giving a positive passport verification report ranged between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500. Many others complained about the refusal of police officers to wear helmets while riding two-wheelers.

There were a few who sought intervention of the commissioner to check usage of mobile phones by policemen on duty at traffic signals. The commissioner owed it to the lack of sufficient walkie-talkies. "Because of the lack of sufficient walkie-talkies, policemen at traffic signals have to contact the network using mobile phones,'' he answered. Speeding of police vehicles also turned into a matter of discussion on the site. City resident Vasanth Chellappa, was clueless on how to lodge a compliant against a person who cheated him to the tune of Rs 38,500. He was provided with steps to lodge a complaint against the swindler. A man who brought up the issue of online fraud mails offering money worth several crores was also directed to file a complaint.

"These steps are extremely useful for those who have never entered a police station. It is a good sign that the city police is lending an ear to our grievances,'' said R Radhakrishnan, who runs an advertisement agency in the city.

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