Public security officials in Hefei, the capital of East China's Anhui province, have set up a research center to track and prevent crimes in cyberspace.
"While the internet brings convenience to our lives, it also facilitates the violation of laws, as some may find it easier to commit crimes," said Wang Liang, the deputy director of the Hefei Public Security Bureau's cybersecurity department.
The Cyber Crime Research Center, said to be the first of its kind in the country's public security system, was set up on Nov 15 jointly with a Beijing-based internet technology company. It is expected to help the local police act more effectively against cybercrime, according to Hefei police.
The facility, based in Hefei, will mainly serve the city, the local police said.
Speaking about the research center, Wang, who believes that most of the crime in the future will be committed via the internet, said: "Data shows that nowadays about one-third of crimes are committed via the internet, and such crimes have been increasing by about 30 percent every year."
For instance, he said, many banned items, such as guns, drugs and private information, have been illegally transacted on the internet, often in very secret ways.
Wang Zhe, also a deputy director of the local cybersecurity department, said: "The criminals may also plan and organize crimes via social media."
Meanwhile, though the cybersecurity department has been around for years, the authorities' technological strength is not enough to meet the increasing demand for cybersecurity, so they have had to work with leading internet security companies.
In many cases, the cybersecurity department merely acts on reports of crime, but the new center will do research on cybercrime on its own initiative.
"Different solutions will be offered," said Wang Zhe.
In the first 10 months of this year, the Hefei public security authorities dealt with 2,644 cases of cybercrime and arrested 3,028 suspects, but they think the efficiency could be further improved through the research center in the future.
Separately, since its setting up, the facility has found 711 flaws on 39 local government department websites, in addition to tracking cases of hacking, illegal transaction of private information, prostitution and cyber gambling, according to Hefei police.