ISLAMABAD: Capital police will now use a mobile phone application to communicate, as the other means of communication being used by personnel is outdated and time-consuming, Dawn learnt from police officials on Friday.

The idea to use the instant messaging application Whatsapp to communicate came from the newly appointed Inspector General of Islamabad Police (IGP) who took office on Wednesday.

The IGP is said to have asked officers to create groups on WhatsApp that include officers in a particular station and also of station house officers, sub-divisional police officers, superintendents of police and senior superintendents of police.

Police sources said several groups were created on the app, including separate ones for police operations and security wings, and the two groups were named ICT Police Operation and ICT Police Security. The sources said the IGP was part of both groups.

Until now, the police used wireless handsets, landline telephones, mobile phones and SMS to communicate. Other than the handsets, the modes of communication could only be used to get in touch with one person at a time and they were also not made part of police records to be used as evidence.

Communication through wireless handsets is recorded under the Wireless and Telegraph Act 1949. The concerned officer’s reader or staff records the message that comes through the handset and relays it to his superior. This method, sources said, takes time and there were also problems with communicating the message to those officers who were not addressed in the message as their staff might not pass it on.

Through WhatsApp, all officers will receive messages immediately as they all carry mobile phones.

WhatsApp is a messenger application used through the internet to send text messages, documents, images, videos, user location and audio media to other users on their regular mobile phone numbers, and can be used on all smartphones.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2016



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