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State needs well-equipped police stations to curb cyber crime

The officials reveal an increase in the cyber crime cases compared to the last year in Maharashtra. Even after various attempts made by the state government to provide the cyber police stations with modern software and hardware technology tools and imparted training to police officials, cybersecurity has become an issue of concern in today’s era considering the use of social media scaling up rapidly imposing a major challenge for the police.

A written application filed by the Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis in the state Assembly on Tuesday stated that a total of 2,945 cases of cyber crimes were registered till September this year against 2,645 till October 2017; however, the maximum number of crime rates were witnessed in Mumbai.

Earlier, various queries had been raised regarding the technological offences in the metropolis that the police department and state government lacked a clear roadmap to make Mumbai safe from cyber crimes such as the police department is ill-equipped to resolve technology related crimes due to shortage of manpower or the police personnel lack technological knowledge to overcome such issues. In order to curb the cyber crime, training to 198 police officials have been imparted on how to deal with cyber crimes with modern software and hardware technology tools since 2016. Further, so far, 43 cyber labs have been declared as cyber police stations. Of these, 36 cyber police stations are functioning and the remaining seven will be operational soon, CM Fadnavis had said. Despite which the numbers suggest a huge increment in the ratio of the crime rate in the city. Now, lodging complaints have also become a lot more easier. Every city police station will have a separate cyber crime and complaint regarding the same can be filed even at the local police station.

Cyber Crime Advocate Puneet Bhasin stated, “Many reasons are there behind our inability to curb cyber crimes but lack of awareness tops the chart. Technology has entered the Indian market but people are not aware enough about its usage. Security is never a criterion here when it comes to selecting electronics with high-end technology and data security, though there are better and secure technology options but people prefer cheap options without being concerned about data security as India being a price sensitive market. Creating awareness is the only way we can put a stop to cyber crime.”

It is believed that due to social media, now it has become more easily accessible and safer bet to explore the prospective customers and lure the innocent girls into those murky professions. The Modi government’s vision to make a Digitial India seems to have various loopholes with the cyber frauds such as people getting cheated via fraudulent online transactions, fake online job sites, online matrimonial or dating sites and apps take place every now and then across the nation.

IT professional Rahul Pal mentioned, “I believe that the government must be aware first before making the people aware of cyber crime. The online world is filled with fraudsters and these happen in all open but it seems that the administration has closed their eyes. What about new online games that take the lives of young people! Why can’t we choke the very source of all these? With developing technology, it’s high time we stop neglecting and go serious on all these.”

From spreading the fake news to recruiting criminals and ultimately spreading terror, the social networking sites have been constantly spoon-feeding filth to their users. The ill-use of social media platform has seen an acute rise in the recent period of time. Hence, there is a need for awareness among the citizens to diminish crime rates. But the question still remains how will the government manage to cease the existing rise in crime rates and when will the state observe a cyberfraud-free place?

Cyber Lawyer and Cybersecurity Expert Prashant Mali exclaimed, “Efforts taken by the state government to curb cyber crime is insufficient and the same applies for the training of the police personnel. The cyber crime police stations in Mumbai are almost non-functional — they don’t take FIRs and pass on the complaints from one station to another. Moreover, the police stations are not well-equipped to take actions against the FIRs.”

He further added, “Mumbai being the financial capital, fraudsters across the country target this region making it high in crime rates. Lack of awareness among senior citizens and technologically-challenged also pose a threat. Social media crimes —like defamation, data theft, matrimonial frauds, cyber stalking, etc — have increased manifolds in the last decade. I feel rather than training police officers, the government must think on employing IT Experts cadre in the cyber booths for better results.”


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