To deal with the rising number of cybercrime cases, the Mumbai Police has proposed that the rule calling for a police inspector (PI) level investigation of such offences to be relaxed, allowing police sub-inspector (PSI) rank officers to carry out probes as well.
The Mumbai Police made the proposal at a cybercrime meeting called by the Intelligence Bureau in New Delhi last month. The same proposal was also put forward by several other police forces.
While 928 cyber crime cases were registered in 2016, 736 cases were registered between January and May this year. Most police stations in the city have around four to five PI-level officers.
“The quality of investigation suffers if one officer is investigating 50 cases,” said a senior officer.
The officer pointed out that in the past, only ACP-level officers were allowed to probe cyber crimes. However, with the rising number of cases, the IT act had earlier been amended and PI-level officers were included.
Others pointed out that apart from having more officers to investigate, normally, younger policemen joining at the PSI level and even in the constabulary are more adept at solving cybercrime cases. “Some of these PI-level officers are a few years away from retirement. There can be a lack of enthusiasm to learn new kinds of offences. Conversely, the younger crop is already on social media,” said the officer..
Sources said that in most cases, lower rung personnel carry out a major chunk of the investigation. “However, the PI is the one who has to appear in court for remand or during the trial… If they are not well versed with the technology, the defence could use it to their advantage. It would make more sense to have someone who knows how the investigation took place to defend the case,” said an officer