KOCHI: Monitoring and dealing with every tourist arriving at Mattancherry and Fort Kochi is not an easy task. But now a Whatsapp group formed by the tourism police has made things easy. The group called ‘Guest Care’ was formed in 2017 and has helped police reach out to tourists who have been harassed by anti-social elements or cheated by traders.
“We have police officers, tourist authorities, hoteliers, guides, counsellors and homestay operators as members of the group ‘Guest Care’. Usually, the tourists prefer to share their distress with the hoteliers and homestays first. So any issues related to foreigners can be informed through this WhatsApp group. Once the information is passed, the police promptly reach the hotel or homestay and try to solve the issue,” said V B Rashid, sub inspector, Tourism Police Station.
There are around 300 homestays operating in Mattancherry and Fort Kochi. Along with it around 30 luxury and semi-luxury hotels are there at the tourist destination. “Last year following an information provided by a Guest Care group, a person who was abusing a foreigner was nabbed. We conduct meetings with the homestays and hoteliers on a regular basis. We insist the tourist operators pass on any information regarding crime against tourists. Similarly, the patrolling work throughout the day ensures the safety of tourists,” he said.
Police Museum close to Tourism Police Station is becoming a popular destination for those visiting Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. The museum showcases the history of Kerala police – pre and post independence.
There are a collection of uniforms from the era of Travancore kings to the present. Similarly, swords used by cops during the Travancore Kingdom, hats used by police officers, different types of canes, antique pistols and binoculars are also on display. At the entrance, there is a replica of a policeman from the Travancore King’s rule holding a spear. The entry to the museum is free. The museum is open from 9.30 am to 6 pm daily.