If one goes by the statistics available with the Thane cyber cell, cyber crime in the city is on the rise. There has been an increase in the number of applications received by the cell over a period of three years. The cell came into existence in 2005, when D Sivanandhan was the police chief in Thane.
In 2008, the cyber cell received 84 applications as against 121 in 2009 and 195 in 2010. The highest number of applications was for credit card frauds (52). However, most of these applications do not get converted into cases because of reasons such as people's hesitation to follow up on the case.
This has prompted the Thane Police to organise a Cyber Safe Thane programme in collaboration with NASSCOM to create awareness among people regarding various types of cyber crimes and how to tackle them. Technical experts will speak on a wide range of topics from hacking to phishing. The three-day programme will start on Thursday and will be inaugurated by state director general of police D Sivanandhan.
"Most complainants either withdraw their complaints or refuse to file a case. This happens more in cyber crime cases because unlike other crime investigations, we first collect all the data and investigate and only then file a case. Once we find the perpetrator , people do not want to pursue the case as more often than not it is someone known to them."
"Also, some people do not take cyber offences seriously," said deputy commissioner of police (economic offences wing) Dr. Shrikant Paropkari.
"That is why, we are coming up with the Cyber Safe Thane week. We are also reaching out to societies by making presentations for them," said Thane police commissioner SPS Yadav.
However, it is not only the lack of public awareness but also a shortage of staff that making it difficult for the cyber cell to solve the cases.
With applications touching the 200 mark, the cyber cell has only one police inspector, an assistant police inspector, a police sub-inspector and constables to deal with the mounting cases. "We have sent a proposal for an independent cyber crime police station. We need a desirable mix of fieldwork and computer technology," Yadav said.