Now, social media browsing a strict no-no for Solapur cops

Updated: Jul 27, 2019, 08:16 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

CP issues code of conduct that restricts cops from using their mobile phones and browsing through social media while on duty

Representation pic
Representation pic

The Solapur police can no longer afford to have a social media addiction, at least when at work. In a bid to improve work efficiency, Ankush Shinde, commissioner of police (Solapur), has issued a code of conduct that restricts cops from using their cell phones and browsing social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram while on duty.

Speaking to mid-day, Shinde said the idea was not to impose restrictions but to reduce the officers' involvement in social media while performing duties. "If anyone is found violating the orders, he/she will be served a show cause notice, and accordingly disciplinary action will be taken," the CP said.

He further said that recently when he visited the court, he found guards posted at the gates busy with their mobile phones instead of conducting security checks. In a separate instance, he spotted a traffic cop standing underneath a tree close to the place where he was posted and looking at his cell phone. "I am not against the use of mobile phones.

The cops can use them on duty only in case of an emergency and when it's needed. But if it affects their performance then certainly it is a matter of concern and the issue needs to be addressed," he added.

Even as the new code of conduct received positive response from industry experts, cyber crime expert and lawyer, Prashant Mali, said that merely issuing an order would not yield the desired result.

"In an age where technology rules, most of us are addicted to gadgets, especially mobile phones. Cops are no exception. Hence, just issuing an order will not help to achieve the desired goal. Effort needs to be made to implement the order. The Solapur CP should run a programme for mobile and social media de-addiction for the staff," Mali said.

In fact, according to him, instead of having arbitrary orders the state police should have a policy in place. "The policy should be part of the police manual so that the department follows a fixed set of rules," he added.

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