Assuming the unit runs properly, rights activists expect violence and cybercrimes against women to drop
- Separate support unit launched for female victims of cybercrimes
- 68% victims of cybercrimes are female: IGP
- 6,099 cybercrime cases filed so far
- Most allegations related to Facebook fraud
Within six hours of its launch, the Police Cyber Support for Women – a separate police unit launched on Monday to help female victims of cybercrimes – received 25 complaints.
According to the Unit, most of the allegations filed with the team were related to Facebook fraud.
Victims logged the complaints through the Unit's hotline number and email address, as well as the national emergency helpline, said officials.
Human rights activists hailed this as a timely initiative by the police. Assuming the unit runs properly, they expect violence and cybercrimes against women to drop.
While launching the unit on Monday, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed said that 68% of cybercrime victims in Bangladesh are females.
6,099 cybercrime cases have been filed thus far. According to the police chief speaking during the inauguration event at Rajarbagh Police Lines auditorium, of these cases, most of the victims are women.
"The unit has been launched with the aim to create a safe cyberspace for women, provide technical and legal support to them, and building general awareness on cybercrimes," said Benazir.
Female victims can now anonymously log their complaints to the unit, and expect a solution to their problems, he confirmed.
Asked if the accusers needed to file a lawsuit or go to court, the police chief said that the victims would be served as per law. If they needed to file a case, they would be advised accordingly.
The Police Cyber Support for Women Unit was introduced under the Lawful Interception Cell (LIC) of the Police Headquarters. An official (level comparable to a superintendent of police) will lead the Unit, in collaboration with 12 female officials.
Any cybercrime victim can file a complaint via email at email@example.com; by calling the hotline – 01320000888, or via the national emergency helpline – 999.
Advocate Salma Alli, president of Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association, told The Business Standard that trained officials should be tasked with running the Unit, in collaboration with an adequate number of female officials, thereby providing victims a platform to share their complaints safely, comfortably, and without judgement.
"To keep the unit functioning, the police will have to promote the initiative, build awareness, and ensure proper oversight. Women must also be encouraged to step forward," she also said.
Police officials said they will primarily investigate the complaints filed by victims. Officials or the local police station will be appointed to investigate and/or resolve credible complaints.
They also affirmed that they will closely monitor the entire process, from receiving actual complaints to investigating and resolving them.