Online crimes overtook offline crimes in Vizag last year

Visakhapatnam: Thieves from the digital world made away with more money from Vizag denizens than those who broke into people’s houses to steal or rob.

Cybercrimes cost over Rs 7.2 crore to the residents of the coastal city, while they lost Rs 6.2 crore to burglary and theft in 2019, said city police chief RK Meena on Tuesday as he urged Vizagites to remain vigilant while making online transactions.

The police said cybercrooks have been coming up with innovative methods like online lotteries and matrimonial offers to dupe people. “The increased plundering of money through online is an indication that the police will have to deal with different types of crimes in the coming days,” said Meena.

Even as Vizag city recorded a slight dip in the overall crimes in 2019 – a drop of 6.67 percent compared to 2018 – online theft is emerging as a new challenge for the police force. A total of 280 cybercrimes were reported in 2019 in Vizag city, while only 100 cases were registered.

The detection rate in cybercrimes was as low as 26 percent and the recovery rate of stolen amount stood at 7.5 percent last year.

Meena said white-collar offences increased by 7.5 percent in 2019 with 874 cases, including online cheating, while the number was 813 in 2018.

Though the overall crimes against women decreased, there has been an increase in rape cases committed under the false pretext of marriage in Vizag city.

Offences related to properties have seen a 32 percent decline in 2019 with 959 cases. In 2018, a total of 1,256 property offences had been reported. Offenders in such crimes, plundered Rs 6.06 crore in 2019 and the detection and recovery rates stood at 50 percent and 46 percent respectively. In 2018, the property loss was Rs 9.27 crore, the detection and recovery rates were 60 percent and 54 percent respectively.

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