Uttar Pradesh CM announced the establishment of cyber crime police stations in each district of Uttar Pradesh(UP) within the next two months. Considering the proliferation of evolving cyber crimes in the states and analysing the changing nature of criminal activities in cyberspace, the CM expressed his concern regarding the rising criminal activities. Diverse types of cybercrimes have emerged, such as deepfake, voice cloning, cryptocurrency, loan scams, electricity bill fraud, sextortion, job offer scams, etc. The decision of the Uttar Pradesh CM to establish a cyber police station in each district is a comprehensive step in strengthening the cybersecurity arrangements in the state. The step of establishing cyber crime police stations in each district of Uttar Pradesh highlights the government’s commitment to strengthening or equipping law enforcement agencies with the tools, resources and specific units to comprehensively deal with evolving cyber threats and effectively combat growing cybercrimes.
Role of Cyber Police Stations
Cyber police stations play a significant role in safeguarding individuals and businesses from cyber threats and resolving their disputes with technical capabilities. Cyber police stations or cyber police units are equipped with Cyber forensic capabilities to deal with cyber-oriented cases properly. To detect, monitor and investigate the cyber cases. The cyber police stations or units specifically comprise specialised units and staff with specifically trained experts in the intricacies of cybercrimes, digital forensics, and cyber investigations. Cyber police stations are equipped with advanced cyber forensic capabilities, which enable them to properly analyse, detect, monitor, and investigate various cyber offences. In addition to that, cyber crime police stations or units also focus on preventive measures by spreading public awareness about evolving threats and how to stay protected in the digital landscape by following the best practices. Cyber police stations handle complex cyber crime cases, such as financial fraud, identity theft, hacking, online harassment, loan fraud, and more. Additionally, The cyber crime police station or units often collaborate with other specialised agencies, such as civil societies working in the domain of cybersecurity or other law enforcement agencies, for the training of police personnel to effectively empower the task force with technological knowledge and effectively combat the cyber crimes.
Emphasising Awareness and Training
Awareness among the people is a necessary element to combat cyber crimes. Importance is given to raising awareness among people to empower digital literacy and to help in fighting growing cybercrime. This awareness will play a key role in fighting the growing incidents of cyber fraud. People will make informed decisions while dealing with the digital landscape. UP Chief Minister has emphasised awareness and training and said it is a crucial aspect of combating cybercrimes. By integrating cybersecurity awareness among people, it will foster a culture of cyber vigilance. Further, providing training to police personnel at different levels will ensure that law enforcement agency is well-prepared to handle the complexities of cyber investigations.
Procedural Approach to Cyber Offenses
Cyber police stations follow a structured procedural approach while dealing with cybercrime cases. The steps include reporting cybercrimes or frauds to the cyber police station or through the national cyber crime reporting portal. Upon receiving a complaint, the cyber police station initiates an investigation. Analyse the case, collect shreds of evidence, and identify the potential suspects. They also conduct Forensic Analysis, wherever required, to examine digital evidence and the sequence of events leading to the cybercrime. Then, they proceed for arrest and prosecution when the evidence is compelling, police officers arrest the suspects and proceed further with subsequent legal proceedings and court trials as per the legal framework.
Safe digital environment
To strengthen cyber security in the state, the UP government has taken a commendable step by establishing a cyber police station in every district of the Uttar Pradesh state. As cybercrimes are on the rise, this step will really help in monitoring, inspecting and prompt resolution of cybercrime cases. The state has also addressed the significance of raising awareness among people so as to increase digital literacy so people can become aware of the rising incidents of cybercrime threats and various evolving scams, such as crypto scams, deepfakes, sextortion, loan scams, helpline frauds, banking frauds etc. which lead to financial and reputational loss to innocent victims.
The CM of Uttar Pradesh state has declared to set up cyber police stations in each district of the state within the next two months. Such a step will enhance the cyber safety in the state. There will be timely response and action by the cyber-oriented police station of the cyber offences and reports. In the evolving digital landscape, technology is playing an important role in the everyday life of individuals. At the same time, threats and vulnerabilities have also emerged, and the cybercrime rate has increased. Hence, recognising the urgent need to combat cyber crimes and fraud, the UP government has taken a significant step. It will safeguard individuals and businesses from the growing threat of cybercrimes and maintain the overall integrity of the digital landscape.
Author: Neeraj Soni, Research Associate – Policy & Advocacy, CyberPeace