To counter the staggering rise in cyber crimes – they went up by 209% in the first three months of this year from the same period in 2014 – the Mumbai police have started setting up cyber units in police stations, as envisaged earlier this year.
In an indication of the force’s seriousness to curb the menace, the first batch of around 50 officers and 200 constables was inducted across police stations early this month.
These policemen have taken a month-long training course by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).
Rakesh Maria, Mumbai police commissioner told HT that another batch of an equal strength is lined up for training by the NASSCOM next week.
“After this batch is trained, we will have their presence in each of the 93 police stations in the city by next month,” Maria said.
The trained personnel will be part of the cyber unit at police stations and will be designated as cyber cops, he said.
“The job of the cyber unit is to investigate frauds committed in the digital world. It will be a crack team, like our detection units in police stations,” Maria said, adding the purpose of the units is to lessen the workload on the cyber crime investigation cell (CCIC) and the cyber police station at BKC.
In January, the Mumbai police had issued a circular asking all police station heads to shortlist officers interested in computer-aided investigation.
“This is how we handpicked the men to hone their skills in cyber investigation,” Maria said.
The cyber units will mostly look into complaints that can be investigated with the resources at their disposal.
“The units will investigate petty offences such as online obscenity and localised frauds, apart from keeping an eye on malicious or offensive contents on networking sites,” a senior Mumbai police officer said.
However, for more complicated or sensational crimes, the cases can be referred to experts at the cyber police station or the CCIC, he said.
The induction of the cyber cops comes close on the heels of a government decision to start four cyber crime investigation cells, in addition to the existing one in south Mumbai.
According to the plans, each of these units will be placed in the four police regions and will be headed by Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs).