In the hope of protecting teenagers against bullying, drugs and alcohol dependency, and human trafficking, Faridabad Police has started a ‘Teen Age Police’ (TAP) unit that will aim to create awareness amongst children of this age group about the “unique threats” they face because of “age-linked vulnerabilities”.
According to police officials, the TAP unit, which will cater to boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 19, will be led by an ACP-ranking officer who will closely coordinate with school authorities, parents’ associations, and non-governmental organisations working in areas of teenage problems.
“Police think that teens are vulnerable to manipulation, bullying and victimisation by unscrupulous elements. The threat has multiplied manifold in recent years in view of their increased and un-monitored interaction with the outside world through social media and internet,” read a statement released by Faridabad Police on Wednesday evening.
“To save them from classroom, neighbourhood and online bullying, drugs and alcohol dependency and human trafficking, Faridabad Police has decided to set up a dedicated wing,” it adds.
Officials said the TAP will create an “interactive platform’ of the headboys, headgirls and sports teams’ captains of schools, and will hold “listening sessions” with them using web-conference and face-to-face interactions in order to better understand the problems they and their peers face. The TAP will also look to, through this means, seek their suggestions regarding how best to deal with the problems and, on the basis of this, come up with an “appropriate and effective” police response to the issues thus identified.
In addition, TAP will utilise both social media platforms as well as parents-teacher meetings, spreading awareness amongst students using the former, and parents using the latter. While police will seek to educate teenagers about “possible victimisation” and encourage them to take steps to avoid the traps, the aim with parents will be to sensitise them and make them aware of the steps they need to take to protect their children from harm.
The TAP will also run a helpline for victims of bullying, harassment and allurement to addiction, as well as their parents, with the help of non-governmental organisations active in the field.
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