Police target h'way drug couriers
HIGHWAY patrol officers in NSW are undergoing training to allow them to better target travelling criminals and contraband on the Pacific Highway.
Known as CATCH (Crime and Traffic Connecting on Highways) the program is modelled on a scheme used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
"It has been running in NSW and Victoria since 2009 and has had an impact on drug supply and crime," Traffic and Highway Patrol Operations Commander Superintendent Stuart Smith said.
"This week's training will allow police to better target vehicles suspected of transporting drugs and other contraband on our roads.
"There are 300 CATCH trained police in NSW already and through training sessions such as this week's - our aim is to have all 1200 highway patrol officers in this state trained in the principles of this program.
The CATCH training will form a critical part of heavy vehicle enforcement strategy.
"During our recent heavy vehicle operations - Discovery, Overland and Marshall - we relied on CATCH trained personnel within the NSW Police Force Highway Patrol ranks when it came to intercepting the vehicles.
Supt. Smith said highway patrol police have sent a strong message to drug couriers.
"You are on our radar and you will be put before the courts," he said.
During Operation Discovery, Marshall and Overland a total of 484 trucks were checked resulting in; 48 identified as having evidence of speed tampering, 274 further infringements including breaches relating to mechanical defects, log book, fatigue and licence issues, three drivers charged with drug use and two charged with drug possession.