Constables interact with passengers and impress upon them the need for safety, says

R. Rajaram

Building a rapport and earning goodwill is the objective behind the latest effort of the Government Railway Police (GRP) in interacting with train travellers and sensitising them on the precautionary measures to prevent crimes.

Field level GRP personnel in the rank of constables and head constables who have been provided with mobile phones during their train escort duty have been percolating safety-related messages on board trains over the last few days.

The Railway Police have identified 32 long distance trains including Pallavan, Vaigai and Pandyan super fast trains, Kumbakonam–Coimbatore Jan Shatabdi, Tiruchi–Ernakulam Tea Garden Express, Mayiladuthurai–Mysore Express, Nellai, Kumbakonam–Chennai Rockfort, Pearl City and Kanyakumari Expresses to carry out their latest initiative.

The constables cover as many compartments as possible and randomly interact with the travellers introducing themselves at first.

During their brief interaction, the police personnel emphasise the need for travellers to be cautious of their personal belongings and refrain from taking any eatables given by strangers in the train.

Numbers at hand

Even while explaining the role, the policemen circulate slips carrying their name, rank, their official mobile phone number and the helpline line number created at the Railway Police Control Room at Chennai to pass on security and safety-related information or to seek help in case the situation warranted.

The Railway Police had created an exclusive helpline 99625-00500 and provided mobile phones to some GRP personnel in Chennai and Tiruchi to enable travellers pass on information.

Sources say the Constables also jot down the names of passengers and the coach number in which they travelled, train number, date of journey and cell phone numbers of the travellers in a separate form given to them. This has been done to enable the GRP officers to contact the passengers later to ascertain their feedback on the campaign and its utility.

Infusing confidence

“The initiative is aimed at not only preventing crimes but also to infuse confidence among travellers by telling them that the Railway police is at hand for help in any emergency,” says Superintendent of Police, GRP, Tiruchi A.T. Duraikumar.

Encouraging feedback

Passenger feedback has been very encouraging and positive so far with several travellers seeking the continuation of the scheme on a regular basis, says Mr. Duraikumar.

While ascertaining their suggestions many travellers had confirmed that they had noted down the helpline number in their mobile phones.

Though the interaction with the public has been started on a small-level, the idea is to make it a permanent feature in the long run, say officials.