In December 2015, MD Sharath, a Dy SP with the CID’s cyber crime wing, was adjudged the country’s best cyber cop by Data Security Council of India. He won the India Cyber Cop Award for Excellence in Cyber Crime Investigation. But cops like Sharath are a rare breed in Karnataka, a state otherwise known for its technological prowess. For, the state that records among the highest number of cybercrimes in the country has just 63 specialized cybercops. Consequently, police have now sought a Centre of Excellence. Bhushan Gulabrao Borase, SP, cybercrime, said: “We have proposed that a centre for excellence be set up in Bengaluru. The centre will have state-of-the-art equipment for imaging, forensics and analysis, latest software to help detect crime faster and most importantly, training for officers in using the software and hardware.” While the number of crimes being reported is on the rise, police is filing charge-sheets in barely half of them. The cybercell in CID (including the cyber police station set up in the commissionerate in 2015) has been dealing with only a fraction of cases reported in the state. Out of the 1,020 cases reported in the state in 2014, the CID looked into only 50, and filed charge-sheets in less than 20 of them. The year before that only 7 of the 49 reported cases were charge-sheeted. Unlike in conventional crimes, the logistics required for investigating cybercrime is huge, Borase said. “With criminals operating from across the world, we are unable to arrest the perpetrators. And unless arrests are made, no chargesheet can be filed,” he added. To check cybercrime and improve investigation, better cooperation is required from industries, banks and telecom companies. “The biggest bottleneck is bogus sim cards. Neither documents nor addresses are properly verified by telecom companies. KYC norms are also not fulfilled by banks.We are writing to telecom companies and banks to ensure they take precautions,” Borase explained. Expressing a similar view, Venkatesh Murthy K, senior manager cyberforensics, Data Security Council of India, said, “It is high time we kept up with emerging technologies and examined the cybercrimes statutes to determine whether they are sufficient to overcome the present challeng es and new crimes.Where gaps exist, the government should work closely with IT industry, law enforcement agencies and the academia to understand the latest developments and enact enforceable legal protections.” Meanwhile, cyber crime cops are focussing on preventing crimes. “The highest number of cases are with regard to credit debit card frauds, lottery fraud, matrimonal or job scams, distribution of obscene photos and identity theft,” Borase said.Considering that most of these crimes can be prevented using simple precautionary measures, police are creating awareness of these frauds.