Suddenly the city police appear to have woken up to a powerful weapon: social media. IT City’s tech-savvy denizens have had plenty to say about the police — particularly in recent times — evoking huge response among Bangaloreans.

On Wednesday, Home Minister R. Ashok launched a Police Community Engagement Programme, an online media centre, to what is described as a tool for crisis management and to redress the problems related to crime, law and order and traffic.

Addressing the function, Mr. Ashok indicated that social media was a double-edged sword that could be an effective tool but could also cause mischief, as evinced by the recent scaremongering among northeast Indians in the city.

He said this initiative of the police serves as platform for communication between the people and the police and advised the police to be people-friendly.

City Commissioner of Police Jyothi Prakash Mirji said free speech and social media were an inextricable part of the present generation, which has grown up with Facebook and Twitter.

Striking a note of caution, he said an indifferent police or any other government agency was bound to find itself being discussed in cyberspace, which could lead to serious repercussions on the law and order front.

Though the Home Department and the Bangalore City Police have Facebook pages, this particular initiative would take the efforts to different level in achieving public confidence and building relationships, the Police Commissioner said.

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