To address the age-linked problems faced by teenagers, the Haryana Police have decided to set up a dedicated wing – Teen Age Police (TAP) – at Faridabad Commissionerate.
Faridabad Police Commissioner OP Singh, who had mooted the idea, told The Indian Express that the TAP will reach out to teenagers who face classroom, neighbourhood and online bullying, or have taken to drugs and alcohol or have been victims of human trafficking.
An ACP-ranking officer will lead the initiative. The officer will work in close coordination with school authorities, parents’ associations and NGOs active in the area of teenage problems.
According to OP Singh, the TAP will run a helpline for the parents and teenage victims of bullying and harassment. It will also utilise the platform of parent-teacher meetings to sensitive parents and teachers about the steps they need to take to save their wards from potential harm.
The police officials believe teens are vulnerable to manipulation, bullying and victimisation by unscrupulous elements. “The threat has multiplied many-fold in recent years in view of their increased and unmonitored interaction with the outside world through social media and Internet,” aid the 1992-batch Haryana cadre officer.
Welcoming the move, former Director General of Haryana Health Services, Dr Kamla Singh said, “The problems of adolescents are increasing day by day. The joint families have given way to nuclear families. In this scenario, every child is living the ‘digital life’ and not the real life. Certainly, the initiative will help the teenagers in resolving their problems.”
According to OP Singh, the dedicated police wing will strive to create awareness among teenagers about the unique threat they face because of their age-linked vulnerabilities and encourage them to adopt a healthy and constructive lifestyle.
The TAP will further create an interactive platform by involving schools’ head-boys, head-girls and sports teams’ captains. “It will host listening sessions with them through web-conference and face-to-face interaction to understand the problems they and their peers are facing, seek their suggestions to deal with them and based on that it will formulate an appropriate and effective police response to identified problems,” said the officer, who pioneered Haryana government’s community mobilisation programmes, Marathon and Raahgiri.
The TAP will also harness social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat particularly popular among teenagers to educate them about possible victimisation and encourage them to take steps to avoid falling in the trap.
OP Singh had earlier held the responsibility of Special Officer (community policing and outreach) in the Chief Minister’s office apart from looking after the sports department as its Director and Principal Secretary.
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