Cybercrime detection rates in Maharashtra dip

Lack of police training and equipment and lengthy procedures have led to the drop, say cyber experts in Mumbai

mumbai Updated: Nov 10, 2017 11:36 IST
Rahul Mahajani
Rahul Mahajani
Hindustan Times
About 38% of cybercrimes in Maharashtra last year occurred in Mumbai.(HT File)

The detection rate (number of cases solved) of cybercrime cases registered under the Information Technology (IT) Act in Maharashtra till June this year fell to 14%, compared to 25% in the whole of 2016 and 28% in 2015.

Experts said a lack of police training was to blame, along with the fact that several cybercriminals live overseas, making it harder to trace them. The detection rate of IT Act cases read with the Indian Penal Code was a bit better at 25% till June this year, compared to 23% in 2016.

A majority of the cases were registered under both, the IT Act and IPC. Till June this year, 722 cases were registered under both. About 312 were cases filed only under the IT Act. In 2016, there were 1,955 cases registered under both, with 435 filed only under the IT Act.

About 38% of cybercrimes in Maharashtra last year occurred in Mumbai. Statistics released by the Mumbai police show that 928 cases of cybercrime were registered in 2016, of which 203 were detected a — 21.8% detection rate.

A senior state police official said that in cases in which an investigation is pursued, the lengthy list of procedures to be followed gives the accused time to fold up operations overseas and move on.

The state police plan to set up cyber cells in Mumbai and at least one cyber lab in each district, he said.

Experts said the government was more at fault than the police. Cyber expert Vijay Mukhi said the police need better training and equipment if the detection rate is to be improved. Former IPS officer-turned-advocate YP Singh said that while cybercrime was not a priority for the police, giving them more resources would help. He said most of the cases filed deal with defamation and are likely to be solved. However, more serious crimes such as hacking and other economic offences go unsolved.

Mukhi said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) records and gets copies of every email sent in the US, building an overarching influence in cyber space, which helps them achieve a better detection rate.

“Our government does not do this, which leaves cyber space vulnerable,” he added.

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 11:35 IST