India

The Mumbai police Twitter feed that fights crime with puns

File photo of Mumbai police officers Image copyright Getty Images

You don't always associate the Indian police with humour, but that is no longer the case in the western city of Mumbai.

The Mumbai police Twitter account, launched in December, has turned into a social media sensation, mainly because of its witty tweets.

Ahmed Javed, who retired as the Commissioner of Mumbai Police last week, told the BBC that the wit and humour on the feed was a "conscious decision".

"We decided to bring in humour because that goes well [with the followers]. We also wanted to address a larger number of people, specially the youth," he said.

Image copyright Twitter

Mr Javed said he wanted his force to become "more accessible" for the city's residents, but he knew that "a dry and boring [Twitter] account would fail to catch the attention of the youth".

He added that the police had achieved what "it had set out to do on Twitter".

The account has been posting tweets about several issues, but their campaign against drugs has attracted the most attention.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

But the Mumbai police is not just receiving appreciation for its tweets, it's getting some interesting responses as well. "We wanted people to get involved and there have been funny responses to our Tweets. We wanted to take serious subjects and package them in a way that the message goes through and people also like them. This was the end result we had in mind," Mr Javed said.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

Mr Javed said that the content on their Twitter accounts comes from a joint team of police officers and external consultants.

"We debate and discuss our tweets before posting. We also discuss how to build specific campaigns like #Avoiddrugs and #followtrafficrules," he said.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

The police also ran a Twitter campaign against cyber crimes.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

And they also found innovative ways to warn people about violence against women.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The tweet reads: "Don't you have mothers and sisters at your home? Be a man, respect women."

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