The Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Task Force or "CATCH" is a multi-agency task force formed in June of 2000 to apprehend and prosecute criminals who use technology to prey on citizens.
High-tech crime investigation requires information sharing and cooperation among all levels of government across traditional jurisdictional boundaries. Consequently, CATCH was formed combining local, state and federal law enforcement agencies from San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties.
CATCH cases are vertically prosecuted meaning the same prosecutor handles the case from start to finish. This promotes thorough prosecution and rapid communication between all levels of law enforcement on high-tech cases.
Cooperation between CATCH, other high-tech task forces, and the private sector industry, is critical to the success of combating high-tech crimes.
San Diego has been described as "the new wireless valley" because of its significant growth in technology infrastructure. This is a reflection of the changing face of our region's economy and the welcome presence of innovative companies comprising our technology industry.
Unfortunately, the side effects of a technology-rich society is increased criminal activity as criminals use technology to devise new schemes and expand old ones. Such criminality impacts both profits of the technology industry and the safety and security of the individual citizen.
To respond to the increasing impact of technology crimes, the law enforcement community formed CATCH to investigate and prosecute criminals who commit crimes using or targeting high technology. The task force is comprised of prosecutors from the District Attorney's Office and investigators from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. CATCH also works with the California Attorney General's Office and the United States Attorney's Office to facilitate prosecution in federal and state cases. Becoming operational on June 1, 2000, CATCH joined a statewide and nationwide network of task forces dedicated to battling criminals who attempt to exploit the technology industry or infrastructure for criminal gain.
An important component in combating cyber crime and ensuring security is public awareness. CATCH, Securing Our eCity, and other law enforcement partners, work with the region's technology industry to educate the public about cyber safety.