UP police app ‘UPCOP’ allowing people to file FIRs online gaining popularity

The Uttar Pradesh police has registered nearly 1,500 FIRs through its UPCOP mobile app that allows citizens to report some complaints online, without requiring to visit police stations, a senior official said on Thursday. The police department launched the app in January in a bid to fulfil the objective of the Centres Digital India programme to provide services electronically by reducing paperwork. Asked to explain the benefits of the app to the general public, ADG (Technical Services) Ashutosh Pandey said the app, available on Google Play and Apples iStore, allows people to file e-FIRs and offers 26 other services. He said people can file FIRs irrespective of their location. It alerts people about accidents in their area. Senior citizens and Divyaang people can report an incident or abusive behaviour in the form of text, audio or sign language. It has features that allow people to view and download their character certificate; they can also have the verification of tenants, domestic helps and employees done via the app. A very close relative of a deceased can view the details of the post-mortem report online. There are provisions to seek police permission for organising procession and other events, including shooting of movies. Gradually its popularity is growing, Pandey told PTI. It has witnessed registration of nearly 1,500 FIRs so far. However, the department is offering e-FIR service only for vehicle theft, snatching, cyber crime and missing child complaints in the first phase. Also, an FIR can only be filed against unknown criminals and not named, Pandey said adding more services will be added soon. The UPCOP app has complete security guidelines. Through Cyber Awareness tab, citizens can protect themselves from cyber crimes by following the guidelines issued by RBI, he said. Some of the major benefits are that it expedites police verification processes and saves cost of commuting to police stations and time because of automated report, Pandey said. There is automatic generation of reports and saving resources thereby reducing paper work, effective and efficient investigation with mobile application by field officers, Pandey said.