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In cybercrime, Bengal bucks national trend as cases decline | Kolkata News

West Bengal has reported a decline in cybercrime with 401 such cases being reported in 2022 vis-à-vis 513 a year ago, as per the National Crime Record Bureau report.

According to the latest NCRB report, the total number of reported cybercrime cases in 2020 stood at 712, it dropped to 513 in 2021 and 401 in 2022.

The declining trend of cybercrime in West Bengal is just the opposite of the national scenario where a total of 24,420 cybercrime cases were registered — an increase of 42.7 percent over 2021.

In 2022, Telangana reported the highest number of cybercrime cases (15,297), followed by Karnataka (12,556), and Uttar Pradesh (10,117). States that have reported fewer cybercrime cases than West Bengal are the six states of North East India barring Assam. Himachal Pradesh and Goa also have reported low numbers of cybercrime cases.

The West Bengal Police attributed low cybercrime cases to their “prompt action” in cases of cyber fraud, and 24×7 monitoring of social media platforms for unlawful posts and those against women and children.

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“There are regular posts updating and alerting people about various cybercrime modus operandi. In the field of cyber-policing, it has become increasingly important to alert people. West Bengal Police and Kolkata Police have successfully built up a large following on their social media accounts where people are regularly alerted,” a senior official said.

In every commissionerate of West Bengal, there is a dedicated cyber cell and the number of cybercrime police stations in the state is 35.

Also, the state has a dedicated public prosecutor for cybercrime cases since 2012. The first conviction in a cybercrime case took place in 2015.

“Multiple factors have worked behind fewer number of cybercrime cases being reported. Here, in West Bengal, cyber police personnel are regularly trained. But in a society where crime is not convicted, the cases will be on the rise,” said Bivas Chatterjee, Special Public Prosecutor on Cyber and Electronics Evidence.

“Fewer number of FIRs doesn’t mean the incidents of cybercrime are not increasing. In West Bengal, it might be that cases are not being registered as when a complaint is submitted, the matter is resolved through preliminary inquiry.

People get their lost money etc and complaints are not converted into FIRs. Henceforth, the cases are less. Also, maybe people register their complaint at the national portal and redressal of the complaint is done faster and there is no need for an FIR,” added Chatterjee.

According to a police officer, when a complaint of cybercrime is received, only a general diary is made without registering an FIR. The FIR is only registered when it requires a deeper investigation, the officer said.

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