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Cyber Crime and Domestic Violence Predicted to Increase Due to COVID-19 in India: White Paper by Sapio Umbrella

Though there is a temporary decrease in crimes in India, due to the current focus on the COVID-19 situation, it is predicted that certain types of crimes would increase in the days to come. The prediction comes from a white paper published by Sapio Umbrella, part of the government advisory firm Sapio Analytics. The paper also talks about other social impact due to the situation.

Mumbai, India, April 28, 2020 --( A white paper prepared by Sapio Umbrella, a group of 300+ researchers, data scientists, government officers, innovators and disaster management experts, part of the government advisory firm Sapio Analytics, states that there is a direct correlation between the current state of lockdown and prediction of increase in crimes of domestic violence and cyber crime. The paper also talks about psychological impact and behavioural impact caused by the current situation by deriving correlations.

The report uses analytics and expert evaluation to list 5 major social factors that are impacted by the situation of COVID-19 water supply and sanitation, psychological impact, behavioural impact and crime. The report is being submitted to various government bodies currently engaged with the organization, besides submissions to Cyber Crime Department in Maharashtra, Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, and National Commission for Women.

"In Maharashtra, cyber-crime cases have gone up by 20 to 25% in two weeks of lockdown. These crimes include Netflix accounts getting hacked, spam emails threatening to share passwords and important data, identity theft of WhatsApp accounts, among others," says the report about the increase in cyber crimes. The report connects the increase to increased opportunities for the same.

The domestic violence cases are expected to see a double-fold increase in the month of April 2020 and is predicted to have a significant growth rate in the coming months, even if lockdown is reduced, the study says. Among other crimes that are expected to rise are attack on frontline workers, violations of government orders, cybercrime, and counterfeit materials.

Study further shows that children between ages 4 to 7 are the one of the most impacted psychologically, especially due to the regular consumption of news they are subjected to. “School routines are a coping mechanism for students but due to schools being suspended, there is no opportunity for them to get the social support for a good mental well-being”, the study adds. The elderly population is also seen to be impacted significantly, with 10-20% of the same facing issues related to mental health due to the pandemic. Families with dysfunctional dynamics are expected to face maximum brunt of the mental wellness.

The white paper was created by a team supported by NMIMS University, led by Dr. Megha Gupta, a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, Dr. Col. Ram Athavale, a key advisor to the Government of India (Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Home Affairs) and CBRN Security Specialist, and Dr. Mrinmayee Bhushan, a multi-patent holding innovator. The team that worked on impact on crime due to COVID-19 was led by Vikraant Pai, a data scientist.
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Sapio Analytics
Hardik Somani

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