UP Police fortifying cyber wing to curb spate of financial frauds

Against the backdrop of rising cases of online financial frauds, the Uttar Pradesh Police has started the process of fortifying its network of cyber police stations in the state.

Currently, cyber police stations are functioning at only two places in UP -- Lucknow and Noida (Gautam Budh Nagar district).

However, taking cognisance of the growing menace of cyber crimes, UP Police has now proposed to set up six new cyber police stations at Agra, Kanpur, Bareilly, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Prayagraj (Allahabad) to cover all eight police zones. Lucknow and Noida fall under Lucknow and Meerut zone respectively.

“The process of setting up six new cyber police stations is in pipeline, although no timeline has been fixed in this regard,” UP additional superintendent of police (ASP), technical services, Rahul Srivastava, told Business Standard in Lucknow today. He is also the social media head of UP Police, the country’s largest single command police force.

The cyber police stations probe cases of financial frauds of Rs 25 lakh and above, while online crimes involving lower sums are taken up by cyber cell of the respective district.

While India has emerged as the third largest user of the internet in the world, after US and China, it has also ranked among top 5 countries afflicted with different forms of cyber crime. According to reports, more than 12,000 cases of cyber crimes were reported in India during 2016, up 33 per cent over 2014.

Last year, UP Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh had also observed that proliferation of internet had widened the scope of cyber crimes. In his missive to district police chiefs, Singh had called for launching an extensive drive to create awareness among people regarding such crimes, including frauds, ATM/bank swindling, identity theft, and cyber terrorism.

UP Police harnesses traditional and social media to create awareness and organises workshops over perils of cybercrimes and how to secure web-based transactions.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the state police had floated an exclusive wing to curb objectionable content on social media. It was mandated with scanning posts over social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to check posts having propensity to spread communal hatred or create law and order disturbances.

Meanwhile, union home ministry had rolled out a scheme ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre’ for 2018-20 to combat cybercrime in a coordinated manner. The scheme has 7 components, including National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit, National Cybercrime Reporting Portal, Platform for Joint Cybercrime Investigation Team, National Cybercrime Forensic Laboratory Ecosystem, National Cybercrime Training Centre, Cybercrime Ecosystem Management Unit, and National Cyber Research and Innovation Centre.

Last month, Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy, had informed Rajya Sabha that the Centre had taken steps to spread awareness on cyber crime, issue cyber related alerts/advisories, capacity building/training of law enforcement officers/judges/prosecutors and improving cyber forensics facilities.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel