Nagpur: A software will soon start predicting crimes for Maharashtrapolice, pinpointing the possible place and time too. The ‘Predictive policing software’, which would alert cops about an imminent crime, is being developed as part of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis government’s ambitious Rs800 crore plan to secure Maharashtra’s cyberspace.
The work of enhancing and bolstering cyber security in Maharashtra, started in 2015, is based on five major projects, including developing software to help police department prevent untoward incidents or crimes at specific place and time. The software would work on technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics, empowered by exhaustive database of crimes and criminal activities, which is now being fed into the system.
SP Cyber, Maharashtra, Balsingh Rajput, who is implementing the state’s elaborate plan to strengthen the IT wing of state police under Special IG Brijesh Singh, said the ‘Predictive policing software’ would use available data sets of police, and open source information available over the internet, to give outputs regarding a probable crime. “Points for location and type of event and probable gang could also be derived well before time using the software,” he said.
Such predictive policing software has been brought into use in some countries over the last few years.
Apart from the Predictive policing software, the state has also achieved much of it’s aim of setting up 51 cyber cells in the commissionerates, rural districts and other specialized units like the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Anti-Terrorist Squads (ATS), and Anti-Naxal Operations (ANO) across Maharashtra. Another 43 cyber police stations, with 33 already functioning, too are now being developed, where FIRs in complicated cases would be registered, and these units shall also provide guidance and expertise to other police units probing such matters.
The latest portable ‘Universal Forensic Extraction Devices’ (UFED) of leading global brands in digital forensics and investigations have already been procured as part of the scheme for retrieval of mobile phone, smart phone and I-phone data, including those of social networking platforms, even when they have been deleted. The devices would be engaged in recovering data even by cracking passwords or when protected by any other locking codes. Imaging, duplicating and recovering deleted data from hard disks, various drives and devices would not be a major challenge now, with police manpower across the state’s cyber laboratories and police stations being groomed in the use of UFEDs.
The UFEDs would also be capable of retrieving audio-visual data from drone and CCTV cameras. ‘Kensence’ software would be able to help cops scan through footage of 24 hours in just a couple of minutes, which earlier would have taken around eight hours.
Rajput also informed that a centralized cyber laboratory would be set up in Mumbai to act as a supervisory body for all cyber labs and police stations in the state. Likewise a ‘Centre for excellence for cyber’ too would come up in Mumbai, which would engage in training, education and creating awareness among cops, other government officials, and also citizens, especially students and youngsters so as to make them alert against various threats in cyberspace.
“On the lines of the Central government, Maharashtra would also form a ‘Computer Emergency Response Team’ (CERT) for providing technical support for incident management, extend advisories, analysing malware, and such crisis within the state. The body would comprise various experts from the field,” he said.
Following the long-term vision of the government, modern policing gadgets for cyber cells and laboratories are being acquired, with training of manpower. Apart from the latest gadgets for call details and technical support mechanisms for cell phone analysis, the cyber cells and police stations have been also been provided laptops across the state, from Mumbai to Gadchiroli.