Whatsapp is quickly becoming a favored social media tool in law enforcement and administration. Bipin Ahire, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone I, Ahmedabad has launched a new Whatsapp number to address the issue of abandoned vehicles.
It is a common occurrence to find a vehicle stationed in one’s locality, which has just been there, gathering dust, unused. People are often in a fix about how to deal with the issue – to report it or not. The most people are able to do is ask around and confirm that if it does or does not belong to a fellow resident. So, the confusion starts after the vehicle does not belong to anybody. People keep delaying the report that they ought to make or completely give up on the idea of reporting because they are not eager to spend the time on long procedures.
That is what the Whatsapp initiative helps to solve. Citizens can report such suspicious vehicles with the registration number, location and photographs of the vehicle onto the circulated Whatsapp number.
It was started on 25th May.
Ahire told the Times of India, “The aim is to provide police with details of suspicious vehicles. Ahmedabad earlier experienced instances where stolen vehicles were used for crimes and then abandoned. Sometimes, even unorganized gangs take vehicles for joyrides and abandon them when out of fuel. This interface can provide police with information much quicker than identification during a police patrol.”
After receiving reports, Hawk squad teams will be send out to verify the details of the vehicle. A software called Eklavya will enable them to confirm the status of vehicle with pre-existing report on missing vehicles.
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This is the second initiative on this issue. City Crime branch had earlier started an SMS service for the same issue, where in people sent the abandoned vehicle’s registration number through SMS. The drive helped city police verify over 500 abandoned vehicles of which 151 turned out to be reported stolen from various city areas.
The same response and help could be expected from the new initiative.