Months after opening an “IT cell”, by appointing contractual employees with a background in information technology and experience in handling social media, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava has directed all DCPs to set up control rooms in each district with dedicated staff who will monitor messages related to their district and respond to them in 24 hours.
Delhi Police launched the “IT cell” in September as a pilot project for three months to keep tabs on unlawful content as well as to give a makeover to their image on social media.
A senior police officer said: “They (‘IT Cell’) have also been told to keep an eye on posts and media reports related to police, so they can flag it to the PRO in case there is something adverse. But it has been observed that district police sometimes are not responding on time and react only after they have been tagged by the Twitter handle of Delhi Police.”
According to police, senior officers realised the importance of setting up a social media control team when they noticed some people trying to tarnish the image of the force.
“A few months ago, a 25-year-old man died after he was stabbed more than 28 times allegedly by three juveniles, who were warned by the man against performing bike stunts in his area. The incident took place on July 8 in West Delhi’s Raghubir Nagar and police apprehended all the accused before the video went viral. Some people tried to give it a communal spin, but the issue was resolved after timely intervention of district police concerned,” a senior officer said.
A senior police officer said the decision to set up a social media control room was recently taken by the police chief, following which JCP Devesh Srivastava and DCP Manishi Chandra were asked to execute it in coordination with the other DCPs.
“A few days ago, a video conference meeting was held where all DCPs and Additional DCPs were called by Shrivastava (check spelling) and Chandra. They were briefed about social media image impact through several examples. The objective of having a social media control room is to give responses in real time and to change the image of Delhi Police on social media. All DCPs have been asked to respond within 24 hours,” an officer said.
Following the meeting, each district police has set up their own control room after appointing two or three police personnel.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines