With the rising cases of cybercrimes and the subsequent increase in pressure on the existing staff and infrastructure, the Mumbai police have little option but to set up new cyber cells.
Atulchandra Kulkarni, joint commissioner of police, crime, said almost all procedures to set up the four new cybercrime investigation cells (CCIC) have been completed, and they will be operational within the next few months.
The four cells will be spread across Mumbai depending on availability of space and there will be no jurisdiction limit.
The cells will be allocated work according to the number of cases they are handling. “For instance, if a cell in the north region is dealing with fewer cases compared to the others, then it will be given the responsibility of investigating a case , no matter which area it may be from,” the new crime branch chief said.
The formation of the new cells and developing a force of 1,000 cyber cops is part of a programme the police have come up with, after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis included cybercrime control in his agenda.
Following a report by HT on November 11, 2014, about 207% increase in cybercrime in the city, Fadnavis had asked the police department to upgrade their cyber units.
The chief minister is personally monitoring the developments, top police sources said.
According to Kulkarni, the personnel of the cyber cells will be trained to carry out technical investigation while keeping the law aspect in mind. “We are going to have training programmes in collaborations with the Asian School of Cyber Law and important private sector players,” he said.
In the future, the police may also consider converting the four units into police stations, he added.
Most of the plans, measures, and financial requirement of the proposed cybercrime control programme were chalked out by the former joint commissioner of police, crime, Sadanand Date, who is on deputation with the CRPF.
With the CM planning to extend the cybercrime control programme to other parts of the state as well, the Mumbai crime branch may, in future, be asked to provide support to other urban centres, a senior crime branch official said.