Mumbai News: Cyber Crime Unit Gets More Teeth To Tackle Crimes

State sanctions doubling of manpower, telephone connections and computer terminals available to the Cyber Crime unit

Dharmesh Thakkar Updated: Wednesday, November 08, 2023, 11:45 PM IST
Representative picture

Representative picture

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has sanctioned doubling of manpower, telephone connections and computer terminals available to the Mumbai Police’s Cyber Crime unit, which is struggling to cope with the number of complaints that it receives onthe helpline ‘1930’.

The severe shortage of manpower and resources at the National Cyber Crime Helpline Desk (1930) has led to victims being unable to access police assistance needed to register online crimes.

Victims have to make an average 15 attempts to register complaints because of lack of resources at the Cyber Crime control room. The cyber police was able to attend only one in four calls between August and October this year. The helpline is currently manned by 22 personnel, who work in two shifts. Data records reveal that a typical complaint takes about 20 minutes to register.

70%-80% success rate in golden hours

The helpline has a 70%-80% success rate if a fraud is reported within the first two hours – the ‘golden hours’. Beyond this, success rates fall to 15%-20%, according to officials.

Now the Mumbai Police has been sanctioned additional manpower of 22 personnel and computer terminals.

The Crime Branch, which oversees the helpline desk, recently made several proposal to the Home Department to strengthen the desk with additional manpower and resources to tackle rising cyber crimes cases in the city. “A proposal to increase manpower to take cyber crime calls along with computer terminals, dedicated telephone and broadband lines with printers was given to the state government,” an IPS officer said.

According to police officials, a recent technical glitch led to the Mumbai desk receiving calls from Navi Mumbai, Thane, Virar, and other MMR areas. The Mumbai Police attended 2,900 calls out of the 8,486 calls received on the helpline in September that originated from outside the city.

1930 Helpline - Centralised point of contact

The ‘1930’ helpline is an essential initiative led by the Ministry of Home Affairs, designed to help victims report and seek assistance for cybercrimes. It serves as a centralised point of contact for individuals who have fallen prey to online fraud, cyberbullying, online harassment, financial scams, and other internet-related criminal activities. The helpline’s primary goal is to offer timely support and take necessary actions against cybercriminals.

A recent analysis of cybercrime trends in India, conducted by the non-profit Future Crime Research Foundation (FCRF), had highlighted online financial fraud as the dominant form of cybercrime, accounting for 77.41% of all reported crimes between January 2020 and June 2023. The study reported that financial frauds represented over three-quarters of all cybercrimes and underscored the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures and increased awareness amongst Indians.

Published on: Wednesday, November 08, 2023, 11:45 PM IST