Highway criminal interdiction in Australia: Victoria Police crime and traffic connecting on highways (C.A.T.C.H.)
Submission Date: 2012
Highway Criminal Interdiction is a law enforcement strategy which enhances police officers’ observational, conversational, listening and investigative skills when intercepting and searching vehicles. Highway Criminal Interdiction has been extremely effective across Canada and North America over the past 20 years as a means of interrupting criminal activity on roads. In Canada alone, the strategy has resulted in contraband and drugs seizures in excess of $4 Billion. The strategy involves training law enforcement officers to identify indicators of criminal behaviour and increase their observational, conversational, listening and investigative skills during a vehicle intercept. This strategy was introduced to Australia by Victoria Police in 2010 and titled ‘Crime and Traffic Connecting on Highways’ (C.A.T.C.H.). This strategy has significantly impacted on road policing and other criminal activity. Since introduction to Victoria Police, C.A.T.C.H. training has been delivered to 3,000 law enforcement officers from Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland Police Services. Detections of criminal behaviour on Australian highways as a result of C.A.T.C.H. range from high risk driving behaviours through to large seizures of drugs and other contraband. Total seizures to date amount to $37 million and climbing. C.A.T.C.H. provides law enforcement agencies with a significant tool in efforts to disrupt criminal activity because at some point criminals and their activities are on our roadways.