Apart from the rise in body offences and serious crimes, the state is facing a serious threat from an alarming surge of 42.7% in cybercrimes in 2012 over the year before.
The cases registered by Mumbai police also showed an over three-fold increase this year, with 67 cases registered within the first six months, against 20 in the same period last year.
In the statistics released after a detailed study of crime across the state, Pune recorded the highest number of cybercrime cases with 108 of the 471 incidents — 36 of which were about online sexual harassment.
Among other cities, Thane recorded 89, whereas Mumbai had 33 cases last year, with fraud being the biggest category.
The state police arrested 324 persons in cybercrime cases registered in 2012, and a worrying 215 of them were between the age group of 18 and 30 years, whereas 75 were between 30 and 45 years old.
“The police are doing their best to curb the rise in these crimes. However, the conviction rate in these cases is abysmally low. Since the IT Act came into being 13 years ago, at least 9,000 cases have been registered, but not more than 50 convictions could be achieved,” said Vicky Shah, a cyber expert.
The study also stated that the accused in the cases include mainly foreign gangs which are involved in phishing and credit card related frauds.
The most recent of these cases was in which 37 persons, including 15 policemen, lost money to the tune of Rs15.47 lakh after cash was withdrawn from their accounts through ATMs in Greece.
Specialised courts for hearing cybercrime cases for faster remedies to the victims is the need of the hour, which would also help in improving conviction rate in these cases.
“Though the IT Act is capable of tackling the rising cyber related crimes, timely modifications should be made to the Act. Apart from the legal aspect, organisations like banks, online payment portals etc should have responsible mechanisms so that they are not targeted by cyber criminals,” Shah added.
Among other cities in Maharashtra, places like Raigad registered zero cases of cybercrime.