Cyber crime cases more than double since 2017; cops not adequately trained

With the advancement of technology, cybercrimes have emerged as a major issue all across the country.

These crimes transcend geographical boundaries which makes it tough to track criminals. While the fraudsters keep innovating newer ways to dupe gullible people, it has also become as a big challenge for the police.

Government data points towards the rising trend of cybercrime and a per the NCRB data, cases have increased from 21,796 in 2018 to 50,035 in 2020.

In its recent report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs observed that it is important for the police to stay updated on new modus-operandi and technology trends adopted by criminals.

The Committee expressed its deep concerns over the rising trend and opined that both the Central and state governments need to get together to tackle the growing menace.

The report also disclosed the lack of adequate infrastructure in many states to fight the menace of cyber crime. It said that Punjab, Rajasthan, Goa, Assam do not have even a single cybercrime cell, while in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, only one or two have been set up.

Taking note of this, the Committee recommended that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) may advise states to set up cyber cells in all the districts.

The states should map the cybercrime hotspots which will help in quick detection of the crimes and take proactive measures to prevent them.

The Committee observed that these crimes are mainly related to financial transactions and criminals not only target the innocent and vulnerable, especially elderly people, and dupe them of their savings, but also well-known persons and celebrities.

“The Committee is of the view that specialized training is required to deal with the increasing cyber crimes in the country. The Committee recommends that the SVPNPA, NEPA should coordinate with state training academies to train police personnel with requisite knowledge of cyber laws, cybercrime investigation, digital forensics and upgrade them from time to time on new technological tools to deal with cybercrimes,” the report said.

“The Committee observed that the states are facing constraints of manpower and resources in managing cybercrime investigations. It recommended that the MHA should consider creating volunteer help groups of IT experts from civil society who can contribute in devising methods to track cyber thieves and bringing them to justice.

“The State/UT police should create a cyber crime help desk for immediate reporting of the cyber crimes leading to an early investigation by them. Timely intervention could lead to the prevention of such crimes as well as relief to the victims,” it added.

The Committee recommended that the MHA may allocate adequate funds and extend necessary resources for the establishment of cyber training labs and to strengthen/upgrade existing cyber training infrastructure in all the states and union territories.

It observed that traditional training of the police personnel is not sufficient to deal with cybercrimes as these criminals are tech-savvy and are following new modus-operandi on a regular basis.

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