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Rising cybercrimes, drug menace and traffic enforcement remain three key challenges to Bengaluru City Police in 2023 | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

Cybercrime, drug menace, and traffic enforcement remained the three big challenges to the Bengaluru City Police in 2023. “We have initiated several measures and the use of technology is key to battling all the three key challenges,” said City Police Commissioner B. Dayananda. 

Exponential growth of cyber crimes

The city that registered over 9,000 cases of cybercrimes in all of 2022, as per the recently released data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), saw over 16,000 cases till the end of November in 2023. While the city police claim it reports the highest number of cybercrime cases due to it being the IT capital of the country, it doesn’t seem to hold much water as Hyderabad, another IT hub reports the least number of cybercrime cases among all the metro cities in the country. City Police also argue that reporting and registration of cases is best in the city, and many cases go unreported elsewhere. 

The growing load of cyber crime cases in the city has been so huge that the city police started six dedicated Cybercrime, Economic Offences and Narcotics (CEN) police stations in recent years, in addition to the one station that was there for many years now. However, the load in 2023 became so huge that the dedicated CEN stations could not handle it any longer and Commissioner Mr. Dayananda had to ask all police stations in the city to start registering cybercrime cases. 

“There has been exponential growth in the number of cybercrime registration after we started registering cyber crimes in local police stations apart from CEN police stations. This shows how widespread cybercrimes are currently. We are also focusing on capacity building by training staff of local police stations in handling cybercrimes and are also providing the required tools and technologies,” he said.

Campaign against drug abuse

“Drug menace has emerged as a multi-headed hydra and spreading its tentacles in the society at all levels. Easy availability and easy acceptability have made drugs fashionable with the younger generation. We have adopted a two-pronged approach — going after drug peddlers and disrupting the supply chain on the one hand and trying to create awareness among all sections of the society against drugs,” said Mr. Dayananda. 

The City Police have taken up a campaign with all schools and colleges in the city and have begun even appointing student volunteers as police marshals, who will in turn create awareness about drug abuse, addiction and its health and legal repercussions among their peers. There have been several instances where these volunteers have also helped police crack down on drug peddling on campuses. 

50% rebate for traffic fines 

This year saw Bengaluru City Traffic Police adopt innovative means to collect pending enforcement fines that had ballooned to nearly ₹500 crore. Lok Adalat provided two windows for vehicle owners to pay up pending fines with a 50% rebate. 2.92 lakh cases were settled and ₹9.24 crore was collected during July- September period. 

This year saw Bengaluru City Traffic Police adopt innovative means to collect pending enforcement fines that had ballooned to nearly ₹500 crore.
| Photo Credit:
Sudhakar Jain

As the enforcement of traffic norms went more online and through cameras, motorists adopted innovative ways to escape being caught. Many cases where the number plates were wrong, or partially hidden were uncovered this year. The BTP is yet to come up with an effective way to counter this. 

Police personnel in crime

Another disturbing trend that marked the year was that at least seven police officials from the city were booked for their involvement in various crimes. 

In November, Odisha Police arrested a Jigani police personnel with 17.5 kg of ganja and in August, Kerala Police arrested four personnel from Whitefield CEN Police Station for allegedly extorting ₹3 lakh from an accused in a cybercrime case. A police constable was arrested for burglary after duty hours. In the latest case, last week of November, the inspector of Byatarayanapura police was booked for robbing a businessman of ₹75 lakh and in March earlier this year, a sub-inspector and two constables of Marathahalli Police were booked for extortion and illegal confinement.

These cases have dented the image of the Bengaluru City Police.

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