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Pune Needs 5 Cybercrime Police Stations: Commissioner | Pune News | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

The city needs five cyber police stations like Mumbai considering the rising number of cybercrime complaints and for effective investigation, outgoing Pune police commissioner Retesh Kumaarr said in an interaction during his visit to TOI’s office earlier this week.
“With 26,000 cyber crime complaint applications received last year, the existing cyber police station is not at all enough,” he said.
He also spoke on a wide range of issues concerning the city. Excerpts of some key observations that Kumaarr made.
On traffic
Kumaarr said,”We have 1,100 officers and men for traffic management. We should have more traffic cops in due course of time but if the present force works well, we can manage that too. A lot of problems in the last three to four years are due to infrastructural works going on across the city. These interim problems are likely to be resolved in the next eight months and automatically 50% of the issues will go away.”
He added that they have to increase manpower and use more technology. “At present, we have 1,300 CCTV cameras installed across the city since 2013. A bidding process is on for the installation of 3,000 CCTV cameras with new technology features and they will go functional within a year. This time, we have not only considered traffic as a criterion but also crime,” he said. Places prone to crimes orcommunal or other troubles, apart from the major traffic junctions, will be brought under CCTV cameras’ network. “We also have over 400 cameras with facial recognition systems that will be linked to the server. This will help in catching regular criminals, who are there in our data system. Places in front of railway stations, airports, major traffic junctions, or religious places or communal or sensitive places will be covered,” he said.
On the helmet rule
Considering past agitations, there seems to be a reluctance among people to wear helmets in Pune, Kumaarr said. “I don’t know why. We try to enforce as much as possible and that is reflected in the number of fines we collect. A behavioural change on the part of people is required. The population to vehicle ratio is the highest in Pune. Roughly 40lakh vehicles for nearly 55 to 60 lakh of population is very, very high,” he added.
Greed as a factor
Kumaarr said that all cybercrimes are based on human frailties and the number one is greed that is exploited by the criminals. He added that sextortion, matrimonial and courier frauds are some forms of such crimes. “Criminals are also evolving and cybercriminals operate as interstate or international gangs like the Nigerian fraud we know. Of the 26,000 complaint applications, at least 20% to 30% involved higher amounts and most of them are because of the greed factor,” he said.
Kumaarr said detection is the best deterrence to tackle such crimes and sustained awareness campaigns are another step. “We had an elaborate awareness campaign last year,” he said.
On preparedness
Kumaarr said every police unit across the state now has a cyber police station. “Before 2019, regular police were investigating such crimes, but they had limitations. With 26,000 crimes, we too require five cyber police stations. Legally empowering officers of sub-inspector rank to investigate cybercrimes is another option to step up probes and detection,” he said. It is unreasonable to expect the existing cyber police station manpower to investigate 26,000-odd applications, he added. “We are referring 80% of these matters to regular police stations and serious ones are being probed by the cyber police. Now, an amended Act is pending before Parliament and once it is brought into effect, the number of empowered investigating officers will rise 10 times,” he said.
Kharadi, baner will get new units
Seven new police stations are expected to be sanctioned by the end of this year in Pune and that will increase our strength by 10%. For example: Baner police station will be carved out of the existing Chatushrungi police station. Similarly, Wagholi will be carved out of Lonikand; Phursungi and Kalepadal will be carved out of Hadapsar; Ambegaon and Nanded City will be carved out of Bharati Vidyapeeth and Sinhagad Road police stations and Kharadi will be the seventh new unit.
On foot patrollings
ince last February, footpatrolling has helped them gather criminal intelligence, Kumaarr said. “Our guys go to various mohallas, and they interact with people in societies, in the slums, or the chawls. Visible police presence gives confidence to the common man. Incidents like chain and cellphone snatching and minor thefts have come down. It was effective patrolling that led us to unearth the terror module last July. We have a 9,500-strong force in Pune. We need more manpower,” he said.
Straight off the bat
In a candid chat with The Times of India, Pune’s outgoing commissioner of police Retesh Kumaarr, who took charge in December 2022, talks about his experiences in the city. He opens up about his tryst with Pune’s traffic, his go-to-snack during work hours and signs off with a special message for youngsters.


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