In December last year, a six-year-old girl, who had gone missing, was reunited with her family, thanks to a Facebook post by Patel Nagar Station House Officer (SHO) Pramod Joshi. The officer posted a photo of the girl with her parents, along with a plea for any leads that can help locate her. It worked. With almost 5,000 Facebook friends, Joshi has been using the social networking site to curb petty crimes after updating people in the area about local criminals and their modus operandi. “The account on the social networking site was created in November last year and most of Joshi’s 5,000 friends are residents of Patel Nagar area. He constantly keeps them updated about frequent incidents in their area,” a senior police officer said.
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Recently, Joshi posted three CCTV videos showing three people committing thefts in the area on the pretext of making keys. “Three separate FIRs have been registered in connection with these cases, and he requested all residents to inform the police if they saw these people,” the officer added.
“I was appointed the SHO at Patel Nagar police station in last September. Two months after that, I created my profile as many people are active on Facebook. I have started sharing all police activities with them through my posts,” Joshi said.
He claims that things changed in December, when a six-year-old girl was reunited with her parents within 24 hours after he posted her picture with all details. “Within a few hours, he got a call from a local, who told him he had seen the girl. Encouraged by this, he started sharing CCTV footage of various incidents, including auto-lifting,” an officer said.