Mumbai Police Just Started Using Twitter, and They’re Already Masters at It

Finally, a practical use for 'Be Like Bill'

We haven't seen a government social-media account this fun since the TSA's Instagram (which, among other quirky wonders, features a ninja star collage).

The Mumbai Police joined Twitter in December under the handles @MumbaiPolice and @CPMumbaiPolice. And with help from digital agency Trivone—which is managing the account for three months before handing it over to fully trained police officers—they're addressing issues like cyberbullying, drugs and traffic safety.

That isn't unusual; it's even expected. But what makes the accounts so awesome is their use of emotive pop-culture references, smart wordplay and well-considered hashtags. 

A number of the tweets have already gone viral, and the police force enjoys over 50,000 followers across both accounts. One typical example is the image above, which builds on the Be Like Bill meme currently taking over all your social networks.

This is heartening in a city like Mumbai, where the prevalence of organized crime makes offenses difficult to control, and people—particularly women—don't always feel comfortable approaching law enforcement. To demonstrate their goodwill, they've organized crowdsourced campaigns around cyber-safety, and earlier today held an open Twitter chat where users could ask questions about the law or local issues. 

But a social-savvy (and hopefully more accessible and accountable) police department is just the most recent example in a constellation of Indian communications that highlight the country's social evolution. In January, an Indian retailer aired an ad with a more modern take on arranged marriage, and in June of last year, another retailer broadcast the country's first ad featuring a lesbian couple.

Check out few of our favorite Mumbai Police department tweets below, and you can find others here.

On being careful with your personal details:

Why take selfies when you can be "safie"?

All it takes is a smiley to soften a threat:

On not being a creeper:

And the drug puns! Such delightful drug puns!

Humanizing the force:

And to sign off nicely, a reminder that we're all in this together: