Pune’s Pimpri Chinchwad Police Introduces ‘Special 108’ Team to Combat Cyber Crimes

Pimpri Chinchwad, 30th June 2023: In response to the increasing number of online fraud cases, Commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey of Pimpri Chinchwad Police has taken a proactive step by creating a specialized team called ‘Special 108.’ The team comprises 108 policemen with science degrees and prior experience in the cyber cell. Its primary objective is to combat cyber crimes, especially online fraud, and protect citizens from financial losses.

Every year, a significant number of crimes registered at police stations fall under the purview of the IT Act, resulting in substantial financial losses for individuals who fall victim to cyber thieves. The Special 108 team will be promptly informed when complaints of financial losses from bank accounts are reported. They will immediately coordinate with the respective banks to take swift action and investigate the cases.

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become increasingly prevalent worldwide, cyber thieves are also harnessing AI for their malicious activities. The Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissionerate has witnessed numerous incidents where individuals have fallen victim to fraud schemes, resulting in losses ranging from a few thousand rupees to as high as 88 lakhs through online transactions.

The Police Commissionerate established a Cyber Crime Cell in 2018, headed by Police Inspector Dr. Sanjay Tungar, a renowned cyber expert in Maharashtra. The cell comprises four officers of PSI/Assistant Inspector rank and a team of 17 constables dedicated to investigating cyber crimes reported across the 18 police stations under the Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissionerate. They closely collaborate with local police to apprehend the culprits involved.

However, there exists a significant gap between the increasing number of registered cyber crimes and the limited number of officers assigned to the Cyber Crime Cell.

Police Commissioner Choubey, an IPS officer and an alumnus of IIT Kanpur, has consistently made decisions to benefit the residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad.

In recent years, the police force has actively recruited highly educated staff officers, including graduates and post-graduates. Commissioner Choubey emphasizes the importance of education and skills and has decided to establish a specialized cyber team at the police station level to tackle the rising cyber crimes in the city. Individuals with science degrees and prior experience in the cyber crime cell have been carefully selected to join this team.

Each police station will assign one PSI/Assistant Inspector and a minimum of two staff members to the team, with some stations having more than two employees in the unit. Previously, inspectors from all police stations underwent specialized training on cyber crime, and now, similar training will be provided to the selected 108 ‘experts’.

With the formation of the Special 108 team, Pimpri Chinchwad Police aims to strengthen its capabilities in investigating and preventing cyber crimes, ensuring the safety and security of the citizens in the digital space.

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