India police urged to use social media to assess public opinion

Delhi Police senior official admits Indian law enforcement has been slow to adopt new technologies to improve efficiencies, and points to social media tools as an opportunity to address shortfalls.

Indian law enforcers should use social media tools to monitor and engage with the public, a senior official from Delhi Police has urged.

Monitoring of social media can help assess public opinion, says Delhi Police Special Commissioner S.N Srivastava.

The Times of India reported Wednesday that Special (Cell) Commissioner of Delhi Police S.N Srivastava said monitoring social media channels could help address the problem of not having enough police officers on the ground. He added that the police can curb crimes by using social media tools to interact and build strong networks with the public.

"Police agencies will be foolish if they don't take advantage of that as the way to connect with people," Srivastava said. "Monitoring of social media can help assess public opinion which could be useful in maintaining law-and-order situation." 

"There is little scope of increasing the number of police forces [but] at the same time, the threats are increasing and diversifying. We can only cope up with the expected increase in crime through training and use of technological advances," he noted. 

He admitted the penetration of technology in law enforcement had been slow and uneven, while acknowledging that IT could be used to improve the efficiency of India's police force and criminal justice system.