As the campaign against praedial larceny gains momentum islandwide, members of the farming community in Portland are strengthening their co-operation with the Police to eliminate the problem in the parish. The problem of praedial larceny is particularly rampant in the communities of Mount Pleasant and Hope Bay, with the perpetrators depriving the farmers of their crops.
Hilma Wedderburn, the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) parish manager for Portland, told JIS News that areas of strengthened co-operation with the Police included the co-ordination of activities to identify praedial thieves in the communities, and the staging of training seminars to sensitise the farmers about the implications of the Praedial Larceny Act. She said members of the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) have been specially assigned to enforce the law in Portland, and pointed out that all the JAS branches in the parish were being mobilized to work closely with members of their communities to institute measures to reduce the incidence of praedial larceny.
Mrs. Wedderburn said the JAS was confident that the fight against praedial larceny in Portland would be successful as a result of the support it was receiving from the farmers and the police. She noted that the issuing of receipt books to farmers would commence within a month as a further means of addressing the problem.She told JIS News that the distribution of the receipt books was the first major step to be taken in the effort to eliminate praedial larceny in the parish, and that identification cards would also be issued to the farmers within a month to lessen the opportunities for praedial thieves to present themselves as genuine farmers.