Kochi races ahead in state cybercrime list

KOCHI: If you go by statistics, the city is turning out to be the cybercrime capital of the state, registering an almost 75% increase in such crimes in 2012 compared with 2011. From 37 cyber cases registered in various police stations in 2011, the figure jumped to 65 in 2012, according to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Kochi was followed by Kollam, which from not having a single case registered under the category in 2011, either under the IT Act or IPC, surprisingly, saw 20 cases registered in 2012. The upward trend continued in Thiruvananthapuram, which had 16 cases registered in 2012 from 13 in 2011. However, Malappuram and Kozhikode saw a decline in cyber crimes in 2012 with five in Malappuram and nine in Kozhikode as opposed to seven and 13, respectively, in 2011.

In most cases, the accused was known to the victim, from being either a neighbour, friend or relative to disgruntled employee and business competitor. In Kochi and Kollam, the accused were also professional hackers.

In Kochi, majority of the cybercrimes (36) were registered for hacking and seven reported for obscene publication. The trend is almost similar in Kozhikode (6), Thrissur (5) and Thiruvananthapuram (5), where more cases were registered for hacking. But in Kollam (12) and Malappuram (3), majority of the cases were registered for publishing obscene material.

Eve-teasing was the main motif, according to investigations by cops, with Kochi reporting 17 such crimes, Kollam 12, Kozhikode five, Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram three each and Thrissur two. The other common reason behind crimes was frauds committed for illegal gains.

As for cyber criminals, majority of them were aged between 18 and 30, a trend common in Kochi, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. In Kochi, from the 14 persons who were arrested, 10 were in this age group. In Kollam, all the 10 arrested were in this age group, in Thiruvananthapuram six and Kozhikode three. But in Malappuram and Thrissur, from the total 12 arrested, the majority (8) belonged to the 30-45 age group and only three accused were in the 18-30 category. The situation was not different in 2011.

“There is an overall increase in cybercrimes using social networking sites. However, there is a decline in hacking cases,” said N Vinayakumaran Nair, ACP, state hi-tech cell.

Cybercrime investigator Pathathil Dhanya Menon said that as the accused was known in most cases and offences were mostly related to obscenity, people were shy about reporting the matter to the police. “But it will be wrong to say there are more cybercrime cases in Kochi or Thiruvananthapuram. The reporting of crimes at these places does not mean that such crimes are less in other places,” said Menon.

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Courtesy : Times of India