The State will soon have 40 cyber crime police stations and six cyber labs to tackle the increasing number of crimes.
The dedicated cyber stations and labs will be equipped with tools to retrieve data, including deleted ones, from mobile phones, SIM cards, laptops and hard disks, software for hacking and surveillance of computer systems.
Apart from handling cyber-crime cases, the new cyber infrastructure will aid the police to collect digital evidence necessary to crack regular crime cases. In many crime cases, the investigators have to track mobile phone records, retrieve call data and information from the suspect or victim’s computer to zero in on the accused, a senior police officer said.
“As the world has gone virtual, the modus operandi of criminals is also changing. They now make only WhatsApp calls to communicate with each other,” he says further.
The government has sanctioned ₹28.97 crore for setting up the stations and labs. Six labs, one each in Chennai, Coimabtore and Madurai, will come up. The remaining three will be set up in Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Vellore.
SIs to be trained
For the cyber police stations, senior police officers are in the process of identifying the premises. “We will not be recruiting more persons. We will select and train our personnel on cyber crime and investigation. We are planning to recruit 42 technical sub-inspectors,” the officer said.
According to a report by Chennai-based K7 Computing, Indian netizens face regular cyber attacks with almost one in three users in the country encountering them in the first quarter of the current fiscal 2019–20.
The study also detected that the South Indian metros, including Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, have witnessed more cyber attacks than Tier1 cities in other parts of the country. According to the report, amongst Tier1 cities, Chennai recorded the highest percentile of cyber attacks with 48% in the first quarter.
Na.Vijayashankar, a cyber law expert, said the cyber crime is a specialised job and it is difficult to build such expertise in local stations. “Hence it is necessary to have dedicated cyber crime units. However, people appointed in these stations should not be shifted as they can build expertise by handling cases,” he noted.