The News Minute | December 21, 2014 | 9.26 am ISTThe police of Ramnagara district are using smses to in a bid to involve people in crime prevention and also disseminate safety tips.Starting in the beginning of December which is Crime Prevention Month, the district police have been asking people to sign up for a free sms alert service, through which the police now send information directly to people about what sort of precautions to take with regard to their personal safety.Speaking to The News Minute Superintendent of Police Dr Chandragupta said: “The moment the public get involved in crime prevention, the job of the police becomes easier.”He said that every police station had been asked to collect names and addresses from people in every village on a voluntary basis. “We send messages on precautions. For instance, if a family is going to lock up their houses for a long time, then they can inform the police. Or what precautions to take with regard to chain snatchers,” Chandragupta said.He said that so far, around 45,000 people had registered for the alerts. These included roughly 100 people from each village on average and around 5,000 people from taluk headquarters.Asked about privacy issues with respect to data collection, Dr Chandragupta said that there were no problems as all the information collected were kept in a database in the district Police Control Room, and only the Inspector in-charge had access to it. On the possibility of the police profiling people with the information they had gathered, Dr Chandragupta said: “What can the police do with a phone number?” To a question on why the police initiated the service, he said: “People should get a sense of belonging (with respect to policing)”. He said that police conducted awareness workshops and talks in schools and colleges and this was merely an extension of such initiatives which made use of technology.