IN A move that should make filing complaints easier for victims of cyber crime, Mumbai is slated to get four more cyber police stations in addition to the one at Bandra-Kurla Complex, if a proposal by the Mumbai Police is approved by the Central government. The cyber wing is also set to get 168 new officers. Currently, the cyber police station is facing a severe staff shortage with one officer dealing with nearly 200 cases.
A proposal has been sent to the government to sanction four new cyber cells, said an officer. Cyber cells, however, do not have the authority to register complaints. Their staff strength is also low. “With the rising number of cyber crimes, we amended the proposal to seek sanction for four more cyber police stations instead of cyber cells. A cyber police station will be of help since it can register FIRs and investigate cases of cyber crimes independently,” KMM Prasanna, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch) said. He added, “We already have a sanctioned staff of 168 people. These officers will be trained to probe cases of cyber crime and give relief to the offices at the sole cyber police station at BKC investigating crimes across the city.”
A senior officer said the police stations will come up in the five regions that the city is divided into for policing. “There will be dedicated cyber police stations for the west, east, north, central and south regions. Any complicated cases of cyber crime taking place in these regions will approach the regional cyber police station,” the officer said.
An officer at the BKC cyber police station said this will come as a major relief to complainants who have to run from the local police station to the BKC cyber police station. “On several occasions even when the local police stations could register complaints in cases of cyber crime, they would send the complainant to the BKC cyber police station. Now that there will be a clear demarcation that the regional cyber police station will handle such cases, there will be no confusion and complainants will not have to run back and forth from their local police station to the cyber police station.”
The officer added that apart from the complainants, the new staff will also take away a lot of pressure from the officers at the BKC cyber police station that is currently handling cases of cyber crime from across the city. “With one officer acting as an investigating officer for over 200 cases, the investigation was bound to suffer. Now that work will be equally divided, it should reduce the strain on police officers and improve their quality of investigation,” he added.