By: Pune Pulse
June 30, 2023
Pune: In response to the rising number of online frauds, Vinay Kumar Choubey, Commissioner of Police, Pimpri Chinchwad has taken a proactive step by handpicking 108 policemen with science degrees and prior experience in the cyber cell to form a specialized team of ‘cyber experts.’ This newly established team, known as ‘Special 108,’ aims to combat cyber crimes and safeguard citizens from financial losses.
Every year, a substantial number of crimes reported to the police fall under the IT Act, resulting in the loss of billions of rupees through online channels due to the fraudulent activities of cyber criminals. To address this issue, the dedicated team will be promptly alerted when complaints of financial losses from bank accounts are registered at police stations. They will then collaborate closely with the respective banks to take swift action.
While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become popular worldwide, cybercriminals are also leveraging this technology for their nefarious activities. Recent incidents reported under the Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissionerate have witnessed individuals falling prey to fraud schemes, ranging from a few thousand rupees to as high as 88 lakhs, through online transactions.
The Police Commissionerate established a Cyber Crime Cell in 2018, led by Police Inspector Dr Sanjay Tungar, a renowned cyber expert in Maharashtra. The department comprises four officers of PSI/Assistant Inspector rank and a team of 17 constables dedicated to investigating crimes reported across 18 police stations under the Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissionerate. They work closely with the local police to apprehend the culprits.
However, there is a significant gap between the increasing number of registered cyber crimes and the available resources in the cyber crime cell.
Choubey, an IPS officer and an alumnus of IIT Kanpur has made several significant decisions for the betterment of the residents in Pimpri-Chinchwad. In recent years, the police force has welcomed highly educated officers, including graduates and post-graduates, through the recruitment process. With a focus on education and skills, Choubey has decided to establish a specialized cyber team at the police station level to tackle the increasing number of cyber crimes in the city. As a result, individuals with a science degree and prior experience in the cybercrime cell have been selected to join this team.
Each police station will assign at least one PSI/Assistant Inspector and two staff members to the team, with some stations having even more employees in this unit. Previously, inspectors from all police stations underwent specialized training on cybercrime, and now, the selected 108 ‘experts’ will receive similar training to enhance their capabilities in combating cyber threats.