News : Drop in Calls to Police Helpline
Tiruchi, India, June 4, 2016 -- An input from a public some time ago to the dedicated helpline number created by the Tiruchi Rural Police alerting them of illegal sale of liquor near Jeeyapuram prompted the police to swing into action.
The information was flashed to the jurisdictional police station based on which a team carried out a raid leading to the seizure of several liquor bottles. The bottles were found inside plastic bags and buried in the backyard of a house.
In another instance, information from public to the helpline number regarding frequent robberies committed by motorcycle-borne culprits in the Thachankurichi area led to the arrest of three accused within a week.
The police acted upon inputs conveyed to the helpline number created under the "Hello Tiruchi Police" initiative. The effort yielded results. Ever since the initiative was launched in April 2015 with the objective of connecting with the public, the Tiruchi Rural police received a myriad of information through telephone, SMS and Whatsapp to the helpline number.
The helpline number functions round-the-clock at the District Police Office here to receive information from public by personnel deployed in shifts.
A separate register is maintained to note down the telephone number and the message conveyed by the public along with the time. Sources said they had received around 280 calls from public to the helpline number till now since the launch of the initiative.
Majority of information was conveyed over phone with some of them being informed via SMS and Whatsapp.
Information conveyed by public via helpline number has been varied. Among them were complaints of lack of proper response at police stations to approaching complainants; harassment by husband; exorbitant rate of interest charged by money lenders, absence of street lights leading to thefts and problems caused by drunkards, say the sources.
The helpline was created to enable public pass on information regarding crimes, any anti-social activity, harassment of women, movement of suspicious elements and anti-social activities. Upon receipt of it, the information is conveyed to the jurisdictional police station concerned to look into them and provide a feedback to the District Special Branch thereafter.
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Some of the information conveyed to the helpline number pertained to Tiruchi City which was passed on to the Tiruchi City Police personnel.
Although the helpline received a steady stream of information evoking good response following its launch, the calls had come down in the recent times.
There used to be at least 50 calls every month initially. However, it had now reduced to 10 to 20 calls a month now. At times, public call the police station directly or the District Special Branch office.
Nevertheless, every information was being noted and conveyed to the police station concerned if it pertained to law and order, crime or traffic.
Although there was a plan to have in place an "Alpha" police team in every police station in the district to act swiftly upon receipt of information at the time of the launch of the initiative, it could not be sustained apparently due to shortage of manpower.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, June 6, 2016
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