*Social Media & Policing *

Dr. Jamil Ahmed Additional IG Police

As policing aficionados opine, the future of successful policing from a global standpoint lies in use of technology. Thereby, in the continual efforts of technological interventions for revamping crime control and prevention strategies, the ubiquity of social media is fundamentally shaping and has refashioned policing practices. In the epoch of modernity, and exponential rise in social media utility, police organizations and the idea of policing stand intrinsically changed.

Impact of Social Media on Policing; three areas of concern

1-Narrative Control: social media platforms have provided every citizen the latitude to diverge from the conventional bounds of narrative construction by state institutions.
2-Image Vulnerability: Police excesses and overzealousness tend to become more prominent due to easy accessibility and rampant use of SM.
3- Exorbitant Service Delivery pressures: Social Media campaigns force a sharp focus on various sensational issues and play a vital role in compelling the police command to ensure improved and swift service delivery.

Way Forward:

1-Focus on the intelligent use of Social Media as a potent pillar of the community policing model in Pakistan. Use of Social Media Apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. in strategic ways and embracing technology in everyday policing to ensure transparency and improved public police liaison
2-Embrace of social media necessitates a paradigm shift from our current traditional/ broken window policing to community-oriented policing.
3-Social Media must be used as a medium for contemporary police communications to ensure better projection of police and greater accessibility.
4-Constitution of a user-friendly mobile app like the “Citizen” App being used in the US where citizens report crimes by sharing pictures, videos, and other relevant particulars to ensure the safety of others and assist law enforcement agencies in crime detection and control.