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Conviction rate low, says DCW as Delhi sexual crimes hit 15-year high

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New Delhi: As many as 21 cases of sexual abuse of women, on an average, are reported in the capital every day, according to the latest figures released by the police.

These include six cases of rape and 15 of molestation. This year 1,750 cases of rape and 4,406 of molestation were reported by October 15.

This is the highest number of such crimes in 15 years for the same period.

However, Delhi Police top brass say the rising rape and molestation cases were a sign of its “zero-tolerance policy in filing cases”. Police also claim to have solved almost 90 percent of rape and molestation cases.

Senior Delhi Police officers refused to comment on the issue, but they said that the rising number shows an attempt not to hide any offence.

“We follow a zero-tolerance policy in registering rape and molestation cases. We don’t bother whether the crime graph is rising or falling. Our priority is to register cases and act promptly,” an officer, who did not want to be named,said.

Although Delhi Police claim that an overwhelming majority of sexual crime cases were solved, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) says the conviction rate is very low.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal agreed that the police were filing cases of atrocities against women in a more proactive way. But she questioned the force’s investigation process.

“I met the Delhi Police Commissioner a few weeks ago and asked him about the cases of atrocities registered against Delhi women in 2014. I was surprised that the police had filed 11,000 such cases in 2014, but charge-sheet was filed in only 3,500 cases and only nine persons were convicted,” Maliwal said.

Maliwal said that only registration of cases of crimes against women was not enough, the police should file the charge-sheet in each and every case promptly, and the victims should be given proper counseling so that they do not become hostile.

“Speedy forensic science laboratory reports are crucial in solving such cases. Finally, more fast-track courts for sexual crimes should be set up in the capital to hear such cases,” Maliwal said.

Last year, 1,725 rape cases and 3,487 molestation cases were reported for the same corresponding period (January-October 15, 2014). A total of 2,166 cases of rape and 4,322 cases of molestation were registered in the full year.

In 2013, at least 1,636 rape cases and 3,515 molestation cases were reported in the national capital. In 2012, the numbers were 706 rape and 727 molestation.

The officer said the prevention of rapes by policing was difficult as in 95 percent cases the accused is someone the victim knows well.

“Only a small percentage of the rapes are committed by strangers,” the officer said.

(Rajnish Singh, IANS)

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Delhi Police And Microsoft Work Together To Catch Cyber Thugs

Microsoft, that invests more than a billion dollars a year in security research, innovation and development, reached out to 126 organisations in India last year.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. Microsoft says it’s requiring its U.S. suppliers to offer their employees at least 12 weeks paid leave to care for a new child. The company announced the new parental leave policy Thursday. VOA

In a significant operation earlier this month, the cyber cell of Delhi Police arrested 24 people who posed as Microsoft tech support staff and duped several US citizens.

This could not have been possible without the the real-time monitoring of cyber crimes by Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit (DCU) in Redmond that is using Cloud, Big Data, Machine Learning (ML) and Business Intelligence (BI) to improve the security of its products and services, protect vulnerable populations, fight malware, and reduce digital risks.

The real-time data analytics and sharing of key inputs with relevant law enforcement agencies helped bust 10 companies that were illegally running call centres at various places in Delhi that targeted Microsoft Windows users.

 

Microsoft
A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

 

“It was real-time monitoring that helped us crack the Delhi gang behind the large-scale tech support fraud. The whole operation has been encouraging in our fight against cyber crimes,” Shilpa Bratt, Director (Shared Services) of Digital Crimes Unit, told IANS.

“We worked closely with our DCU staff in India and Singapore to nail the culprits. I believe there are more such cyber criminals out there and we will up the ante against their sinister plans,” Bratt added.

The cyber criminals impersonated as Microsoft tech support staff after they managed to fraudulently pop up messages on users’ screens that their systems had been affected by malware.

In order to fix the systems, they charged any sum between $100 and $500 from the victims.

According to the Delhi police, incriminating evidence in the form of cheques from customers in the name of Microsoft Tech support, call recordings, virtual dialers, Microsoft Tech support training material, call log transcripts detailing the conversation with victims of fraud, payment gateway records and servers were seized.

 

microsoft
Delhi Police (representational Image), VOA

 

According to a Microsoft survey released this month, 68 per cent users in India experienced tech support scams in the past year and some of them (14 per cent) even lost money.

The problem is not limited to India alsone. Tech support scams are a problem worldwide, with three out of five people globally having experienced one in the past year and one in five losing money to fraudsters, according to the “Tech Support Scam Survey 2018” released by DCU.

In 2014, the DCU filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in the central district of California against some companies and related entities in India for unfair and deceptive business practices and trademark infringement.

According to the lawsuit, 3.3 million Americans fall victim to technical support scams annually, losing $1.5 billion.

The scammers claim to find non-existent computer viruses and infections, and then con people out of their hard-earned money for bogus tech support, in addition to stealing personal and financial information or even installing new malicious software.

Microsoft
Tech support scams are a problem worldwide, with three out of five people globally having experienced one in the past year.

“At DCU, we are constantly monitoring such scammers. The fight against them will only intensify in days to come,” Bratt noted.

In the last two days, informed Bratt, over 2 billion connected devices were affected with active threats globally and India was at the second spot after Vietnam in the top affected countries.

The data was generated by Microsoft’s real-time “Threat Monitor”.

The DCU – with 22 employees at its Redmond headquarters and 60 overall at 30 offices globally including in India — is working round-the-clock to intercept, analyse and mitigate threats, thus creating a road-map for various industry stakeholders globally to plan relevant actions.

In total, a team of 3,500 professionals at Microsoft is looking at security, built into the company’s products and services, using frameworks such as the security development lifecycle and operational security assurance.

Also Read: Google Launches New Cyber Security Unit For Play Store

Microsoft’s Cybersecurity Engagement Centre in New Delhi is already empowering organisations with information and techniques to secure critical information infrastructure and help reduce malware and digital risk.

Microsoft, that invests more than a billion dollars a year in security research, innovation and development, reached out to 126 organisations in India last year.

“Our big worry is attacks from nation-state actors as law enforcement is challenged by borders. The cross-border nature of cyber crime has created safe havens for bad actors. We need a stronger global security law to deal with such situations which are increasing by the day,” Bratt emphasised.  (IANS)