Millennium Post

Getting cyber ready

Delhi police is all set to start the first training batch at its recently inaugurated Cyber Laboratory, on the Police Training College premises at Jharoda Kalan on the south-western peripheries of the national capital.

The Cyber Laboratory is a facility created to enhance cyber literacy among police officials. ‘With the use of this facility, officials shall be imparted training on identification, handling and packaging of digital evidence – which is  data secured from a crime victim or crime source – besides the basic knowledge of computers, operating systems, networking and, of course, the multiple types of crimes happening in the cyber space,’ says a senior police official.

‘During the programme, the officials will be exposed to the latest cyber forensic tools used for analysing and investigating digital input.Though, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi police, always had a cyber laboratory, but that was for investigation purpose only. On the other hand, this new set-up in Police Training College (PTC) is entirely dedicated to training, he adds.

Revolution in information technology contributes to crimes in two different ways. First, it generates new crimes such as unauthorised hacking, fraudulent fund transfers, cloning of debit and credit cards, bank frauds and data thefts. Second, it adds to existing crimes ranging from child pornography sold worldwide to misrepresentations and impersonations that have headed towards serious offences against women, says Suvashish Chaudhary, deputy commissioner of police (vice principal PTC).

He further warns that the graph of cyber crimes is moving steeply upward and if it is not taken care of right now, it may go out of hand. Fortunately, it is the same information technology which has opened up limitless avenues for crimes that also gives solutions to deal with this emerging menace.
At the Cyber Laboratory, police officials shall be trained five-days a week, in batches of 36 officers.

It is a two-week programme, with days divided into four periods of 75 minutes each, said a police official. He further says, the syllabus shall range from basic training of various aspects of information technology to dealing with the hardest of the cyber crimes.

‘In the beginning, we shall start the batches with the directly recruited sub-inspectors, because they are assumed to possess a certain degree of cyber literacy. But with time, the programme shall expand and cover the entire Delhi police force,’ Chaudhary says. ‘As part of the training faculty, we have chosen the best of the professionals from the EOW, the special cell, the crime branch and various other bodies such as forensic agencies and banks, who have themselves been victims of cyber crimes several times,’ he adds.

As far as imparting training through the Cyber Laboratory facility is concerned, we shall strive to attain ‘rank neutrality’, which means, the quality and frequency of training shall not depend upon the rank of the official. ‘It is because many a time even a constable can have great knowledge of computers and networks and a senior official can entirely be cyber-illiterate. Our aim will be to tap the best of the resources from the force,’ the officer says.

He further says that another pressing issue with regard to cyber crimes is that people do not come to the police when they fall prey to the cyber-age criminals. One reason is that there is a general acceptance that it is their own fault to have relied on information technology, and hence, they treat it like a normal loss. The other reason can be: they are not convinced that the police can deal with it.

‘There were 131 major cyber crime cases reported in 2013 in Delhi and, unfortunately, that wasn’t even 10 per cent of the total number of cases that actually happened,’ says Chaudhary.

So, through the Cyber Laboratory the police will do its best to construct powerful messages to raise awareness among the common masses regarding how they can save themselves from falling prey to such high-tech crimes, and how they must come to the police if they fall victim.

‘But it is not easy, because in order to convince people, we need to be equipped ourselves,’ he adds. Before Cyber Laboratory, personnel of Delhi police were sent for a six-week information technology training at the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. ‘But that facility was much less than what we have set up here,’ says the police official, who is in-charge of the Cyber Laboratory. Presently, a senior sub-inspector, a sub-inspector and a constable have been placed – all three of them well-trained in cyber investigations – in the facility.

 The official further says each computer in the facility – with a 500 GB hard disk, 1 GB RAM and Intel Core 2 Duo Processor – shall be shared by two trainees, which is similar to the arrangement at the Indraprastha University. ‘The aim is that within a year there should be at least two investigating officers at each of the 181 police stations in Delhi, perfectly capable of dealing with cyber crimes,’ the official adds.
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