Just 20 constables to tackle 4,000 cybercrime cases

Just 20 constables to tackle 4,000 cybercrime cases

Understaffed and overworked, these cybercrime police personnel just wish they had more of their tribe to ease the load.

At the cybercrime police station situated at the Police Commissioner’s Office on Infantry Road, there are just 20 of them poring over the pile of FIRs on cybercrimes in the Silicon City. All they need is more cybercrime police stations —  at least four for the four divisions to start with.

Since its inception in April 2017, about 3,910 FIRs (2,020 in 2017 and 1,890 in the current year) have been registered at the station. This averages 30 FIRs every day. An equal number of NCRs are also filed where the worth of money lost is below Rs 15,000, including foreign transactions and social media interactions. The FIRs are mainly about OTP frauds, mobile application frauds, skimming, loan frauds, etc.

When DH visited the station on Thursday, around 20 constables were working behind 10 desktops and 8-10 laptops. They use personal mobile phones for official communication as there is only one telephone line with extensions to seniors; and one BSNL broadband internet connection along with the telephone line with systems and laptops connected by Local Area Network.

The technical team of 20 is supervised by a police inspector, two sub-inspectors and three assistant sub-inspectors. The three ASIs, along with a couple of others who lack computer knowledge, head to other cities and states to nab cyber criminals in the inspector’s jeep, leaving the inspector vehicle-less even for official duty.

Shortage of manpower has hit detection of cases as well. Not even a single charge-sheet has been filed since last year, a police source who wished to remain anonymous told DH

The team is waiting for a better dawn with hopes from the Home Department that it would add three more police stations and infrastructure.

City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar told DH: “We have trained policemen for both constabulary and officers component, who will be added by next month. As far as infrastructure like software and other technology is concerned, we will do everything possible within our financial resources to balance the workload.”