Praedial Larceny Down 14%

Story Highlights

  • The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit (PLPU) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is reporting a 14 per cent decrease in praedial larceny cases and farm theft, since the unit began operating in March.
  • Head of the eight-month-old unit, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kevin Francis, said that to date they have prosecuted 133 offences, which include larceny of cattle, receiving stolen property, unlawful possession of property, selling uninspected meat, and killing animals with intent to steal.
  • Of this number, 125 convictions were made, while seven are still pending and there was one dismissal.

The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit (PLPU) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is reporting a 14 per cent decrease in praedial larceny cases and farm theft, since the unit began operating in March.

Head of the eight-month-old unit, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kevin Francis, said that to date they have prosecuted 133 offences, which include larceny of cattle, receiving stolen property, unlawful possession of property, selling uninspected meat, and killing animals with intent to steal.

Of this number, 125 convictions were made, while seven are still pending and there was one dismissal.

Mr. Francis, who was addressing the bimonthly meeting of the National Praedial Larceny Prevention Committee (NPLPC), which he chairs, at the Ministry of Agriculture,  added that 192 stolen animals were recovered and over 4,270 pounds of uncertified meat were seized and destroyed. The unit also visited 127 farms, conducted 64 community meetings and 78 stakeholder meetings.

The NPLPC was convened in June to provide advice as well as general guidance and direction to the PLPU to achieve its vision of creating a positive impact on the agricultural sector through thorough investigations and swift and decisive action, in order to reduce praedial larceny related cases and farm theft across the island.

The Committee is co-chaired by Deputy Research Director at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Jasmin Holness, and is made up of representatives from agencies under the Ministry. The Ministry of Health, the JCF, Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development are also represented on the Committee.

Mr. Francis noted that presently there are only two enforcement officers responsible for covering the 14 parishes, but the unit has engaged the support of 196 police personnel in a sensitisation programme.

“We have shared the Praedial Larceny Prevention Strategy with the following police divisions – St. Andrew (Central and North), St. Catherine (North and South),

St. Thomas, St. James, St. Mary, St. Elizabeth, Hanover, Portland, Trelawny and Westmoreland,” he noted.

The PLPU is also getting well-needed support from the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Coordinator for the Programme, Sergeant Maurice McLean, said the main objective of the Farm Watch Programme is to sensitise the farmers on how to be proactive in securing themselves and their farm produce.

DSP Francis said the PLPU will remain focused and determined, as it continues to assist farmers to reap what they grow.

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