In an attempt to check the growing menace of cybercrimes in Uttarakhand, the state police force is planning to constitute special teams of 10 personnel each in big districts and five in smaller districts.
According to figures provided by the police department, while only 83 cases of cybercrimes were reported in 2015, the numbers rose steadily to 92 in 2016. However, the number of such crimes shot up suddenly to 344 in 2017.
At present, the cybercells across the state have only one person each and face several roadblocks including lack of proper infrastructure.
Talking to TOI, Ashok Kumar, ADG (law and order), said that the move is aimed at strengthening cybercells across the state. He added that the personnel would be provided necessary training to handle such cases.
Sources said that the teams would comprise 10 members each in big districts like Dehradun and Haridwar, and five each in smaller ones like Champawat.
During a seminar organized for police officers above the rank of SP on Saturday, experts provided training on the ways to handle cybercrime cases besides educating officers on distinguishing between ordinary crimes and cyberfrauds. Cyber law expert Nishit Dixit also elaborated on various sections of Information Technology (IT) Act during his presentation.
“With the setting up of the special teams, we will be able to handle cybercrime cases more effectively,” added the ADG.
Uttarakhand has seen a spate of cybercrimes in which scores of people have been duped on the pretext of Ponzi schemes, lotteries and social media friendships.
On February 24, a special task force of Uttarakhand police arrested two Nigerians who allegedly duped several people to the tune of lakhs by promising investments in India. In another case, a city-based doctor lodged a police complaint on January 18 stating that he was duped of Rs 91,000 by a woman who befriended him on Facebook. Another case was reported from Dehradun in December in which a senior citizen was duped of Rs 58 lakh by a Nigerian gang.
Keeping in view the increasing cases of cyberfrauds, the state police had recently announced its decision to set up a cyberforensic laboratory for speedy examination of evidence.