The next time you have a law and order problem in your neighbourhood, you may not have to call the police control room – you may be able log on to the Chennai police’s website, and chat with a senior officer.

The city police are launching a website of their own, with a social networking component, for the general public to be able to interact with police personnel.

There are over 134 police stations across the city, with 15,000 police personnel.

For the last five years though, the Chennai police have had no website of their own, as the previous official website of the Greater Chennai police was shut down due to lack of maintenance. Only a link on the Tamil Nadu police’s website gave some information about the city police, but this too soon disappeared.

“Members of the public have been telling us that we need an online presence. With a large number of people using smart phones, such a website will be useful,” said a senior police officer.

“If someone has a complaint, they can post it online and officers will take action. They can also chat with officers on twitter. Occasionally, the city police commissioner will also be available for interaction,” he said.

Besides, the website will have the numbers of all police stations.

“The public will also be able to find out who the officer in charge of their respective locality is. They can provide crime alerts while staying anonymous,” said the officer.

Licenses such as those for guns will also be available for downloading. “People can download the forms, fill them in and submit them to the commissioner’s office. There will also be tips for citizens to avoid being duped by criminals,” said the officer.

Residents said a website would be welcome, as they would be able to file complaints at their convenience, from home, but said that the police should be proactive in acting on these complaints.

“They should not be like some government departments who do not react to online complaints. Elderly residents would find the interactive website useful, as going to a police station is sometimes inconvenient,” said S.Muraleedhar, a resident of West Mambalam.

The website is nearly complete and will be inaugurated soon, senior police officers said.

More In: Chennai | News