Using technology to make Goa police responsive

June 12th, 2009 - 11:30 am ICT by IANS  

Panaji, June 12 (IANS) A voice mail to register first information reports (FIR) and a simple SMS for tip-offs on criminal activities - the power of technology will be used to make the Goa police more accountable if a state committee has its way.
Stating that police in the state were discourteous, downright rude and more often than not treated complainants like criminals, a Goa legislative ad hoc committee’s action taken report (ATR) was made public earlier this week.

Severely criticising the force’s manner of functioning, the leader of opposition and chairman of the committee, Manohar Parrikar, said Goa police were “yet to acquire a human face”.

“The committee is aghast at the public outcry regarding registration of complaints at police stations in general. Police are reluctant to register complaints or try to put it off till the next day in case they smell possible politicisation of the matter,” the committee observed.

To counter this apathy, the committee has recommended the setting up of a high tech 24-hour complaint registration cell.

“This could be a voice mail type of a system to enable those citizens whose complaints/FIRs are refused to be registered at the police station,” the report states, adding that the Goa police should also entertain FIRs by e-mail.

The ATR has also recommended a special SMS service which would enable tip-offs to be sent to the police secretly.

“A lot of tip-offs regarding illegal activities and proposed illegal activities and crimes are not made to the police by the public fearing leakage of identity. The police department needs to have a foolproof method wherein a tip-off may be sent by SMS to a designated number where no record of the senders identity is recorded,” Parrikar has suggested.

He recommended the setting up of a special cell of officers to follow-up these tip-offs.

Russian Consul General Alexander Mantytsky June 3 had also accused the Goa police of being inefficient, especially when it came to investigating crimes against Russian citizens.

Mantytsky’s comments followed the mysterious death of Russian teenager Elena Sukhonova. Police investigations in the case have so far remained inconclusive amidst reports of an alleged cover-up.

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