IT city is now India’s cybercrime capital

Published - October 22, 2019 10:57 pm IST - Bengaluru

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data released on Monday — over a year behind schedule — Bengaluru registered the highest number of cybercrime cases in 2017, up from being third in 2016. The rate of cybercrime in the city — that is, the number of crimes per one lakh population — was 32.3 for 2017. Jaipur (22.3) and Lucknow (21) were a distant second and third.

A senior police officer who was in a position fighting cybercrimes in 2017 said the higher numbers could be attributed to “better awareness and reporting”. In connection with the 2,743 cases, only 165 accused have been arrested and 92 charge-sheeted till date.

Police personnel themselves agree that a single cybercrime police station manned by less than 10 personnel for the city is woefully insufficient. “Most of these cases require personnel to often travel to other States, especially to certain hotspots of cybercrime in Jharkhand and Bihar. For want of both human and monetary resources, this is often not being done unless it is a major case,” a senior officer said.

The City Police Commissioner had proposed setting up eight Cybercrime, Economic Offences and Narcotics (CEN) police stations to deal with the challenge of the three new kinds of offence. However, these stations are yet to become reality.

The crime rate in the State capital has been steadily increasing — from 576.9 for 2016 TO 631.9 for 2017. Of the metropolitan cities (with a population of more than 2 million), Bengaluru stood 11th position in 2016. In 2017, it jumped two spots to ninth.

This is also the first time the murder rate in the city has surpassed that of the national capital, though not in absolute numbers. Bengaluru recorded 243 murders in 2017, up from 236 in 2016. Though Delhi has consistently topped crime charts for metropolitan cities and recorded 400 murders in 2017, the murder rate was 2.5 — less than Bengaluru (2.8) for the first time. However, it was Patna that recorded the highest murder rate at 8.9.

Senior police officers argue that the city always had a high incidence of murders, most of them over personal disputes. “What reflects badly on policing is murders for gain, which can be avoided, and that was only nine for 2017,” an officer said.

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