Maharashtra gears up to launch new cyber crime cell

Home department’s new initiative will create a strong force trained by industry experts; world-class equipment hardware and software will be bought from vendors through international bidding in the next three months

The state police will have a separate wing to tackle the growing number of cyber crimes across Maharashtra. An officer of the rank of a superintendent of police or deputy commissioner of police will head this wing. Currently, the various city and district police forces have cyber crime cells attached with local units.

Cyber crime cases have increased by 187.7 per cent in the state over one year. In 2014, 2,696 cases were registered in Maharashtra. Pic for repesentation/thinkstock
Cyber crime cases have increased by 187.7 per cent in the state over one year. In 2014, 2,696 cases were registered in Maharashtra. Pic for repesentation/thinkstock

Such units operating in Mumbai and Pune do some quality work, but other places are not capable of doing a good job because of lack of expertise and equipment. Sources in the home department said that all such units will be brought under the control of the IPS officer (SP/DCP), who will be trained in information technology. The new wing will be called the Cyber Police department.

Train, train, train
“The force attached with the cyber police department will be trained extensively. World class equipment hardware and software will be bought from the vendors through international bidding in the next three months,” said a senior police official. “Training programmes will also be held by reputed IT companies,” he added.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has already announced a 1,000-member dedicated force for fighting cyber crime in the state. Sources said these personnel would be the backbone of the new department. Fadnavis had told the state legislature in April this year that the number of cyber crime cases had increased by 187.7 per cent in the state over one year.

In 2014, 2,696 cases were registered in Maharashtra, while 937 cyber-crime cases had been registered in 2013. These cases included online frauds, phishing and hacking. Unfortunately, there were no convictions.

The state will also approach the National Association of Software and Services Companies and the Data Security Council of India to train police officers and other state employees. The home department is also planning an advisory committee of experts to help the cyber police department. There is also a proposal to set up cyber labs in each district of the state.

937
Number of cyber crimes registered in 2013

2,696
Number of cyber crimes registered in 2014

187.7
Increase in percentage of cyber crimes across state in just one year

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