Visakhapatnam: Traffic issues bother cops

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Complaints on traffic hassles predominate cops’ WhatsApp number.

Visakhapatnam: The city police has been receiving more number of complaints through its WhatsApp mobile number, either by way of photographs or videos, of traffic-related issues than on law and order or crime issues. Wrong parking, rash driving, using cell phones while driving and other traffic-related issues are highlighted by the public. Unfortunately, over 80 per cent of the complaints received by it through Instant-Complaint Login Internet Kiosk and Abhayam (Safety 4 sure) were found to be pranks or bogus complaints. Despite requests by the police, people continue to lodge prank complaints with the iclik and abhayam apps.

Following a string of criticism that Vizag police lags in online presence, city police early this year launched the WhatsApp number 9493336633 to receive complaints from citizens on various issues with an assurance to respond immediately. The police also unveiled an exclusive Facebook page, “visakha city police and public” through which Vizagites can post complaints in the form of text messages, videos or audios.

City police chief T. Yoganand said they have received 36 complaints from Vizagites through the WhatsApp number and 28 through its website in January 2017. Compared to the Facebook page and website, WhatsApp number has been getting more complains, he added. Sources in the police department said most of the complaints received through WhatsApp, Facebook and website were traffic-related. Vizagites have expressed displeasure over indiscipline among motorists and bemoaned the lack of place to park their vehicles. They pointed out through their complaints that most of the motorists park their vehicles on the roads and are driving carelessly. They also talked about the auto-menace in the city. The police has taken action against the errant motorists based on the complaints, they added.

A senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, said they have received over 200 calls through abhayam app and 38 complaints through the iclik in January. However, most of the complaints and calls turned out to be prank. In the coming days, city police will receive more complaints through WhatsApp and Facebook. With the small number of people coming forward to lodge complaints, it is felt that there is an urgent need to popularise the city police’s online presence, he added.

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