eGovWatch: Soon, file FIR on cyber crime at a police station near you

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Officials said the initiative will also lead to faster registering of FIRs and thus facilitate speedy investigation.

By Gautam S Mengle

Mumbai Police is training staff at every police station on the basics of cyber crime so that they can register an FIR under relevant laws. This will eliminate the need for cyber crime victims to travel all the way to the cyber police station in the Bandra-Kurla Complex.

Officials said the initiative will also lead to faster registering of FIRs and thus facilitate speedy investigation.

“Currently, there is only one cyber police station in BKC, where people from across the city register FIRs on cyber crime. We are working on a mechanism so that they need not go to BKC for this. At least one officer in each police station will be trained on the basics of cyber crime so that he can register an FIR as soon as it is reported at the police station. The case can later be transferred to the cyber police station or Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) of the Crime Branch,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti.

Officers said that many police personnel hesitate to register a cyber crime. They send the complainants to the cyber police station or CCIC without understanding the nature of the case. “This is because of poor understanding of the Information Technology Act and other laws on cyber crime like phishing, hacking, credit card fraud and threatening emails, coupled with lack of knowledge of basic steps to be taken to ensure a strong case. The personnel should be able to at least record statements from complainants and register an FIR,” said a police officer.

Bharti said that after the training is complete, simple cases may also be investigated by the police station personnel themselves, which will reduce the workload of the cyber police station and CCIC. “Investigating officers from the police stations can always seek assistance from the cyber police station or CCIC if the need arises,” he said.

The Crime Branch is also taking other initiatives to tackle the growing menace of cyber crime which, along with economic offences, is said to be the crime of the future. Recently, around 50 officers of the Crime Branch enrolled for a training programme with a Pune-based cyber training institute to brush up their knowledge of cyber crime, its laws and investigation techniques.

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