Praedial Larceny Workshop January 16

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, will be hosting the first of two Praedial Larceny Sensitization Workshops targeting members of the Judiciary and other critical stakeholders within the sector, on Saturday, January 16.
  • She added that reports from the JCF show that there is a link between stolen cattle and the gun trade; hence the judiciary must understand that this is organized crime, so the manner in which the court discharges sentencing should fit the serious nature of the crime.
  • A second workshop targeting Resident Magistrates is scheduled for March.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, will be hosting the first of two Praedial Larceny Sensitization Workshops targeting members of the Judiciary and other critical stakeholders within the sector, on Saturday, January 16.

Some 40 Clerks of the Court along with representatives from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), the Ministries of Justice and Health, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and private sector entities will participate.

According to the Praedial Larceny Prevention Coordinator in the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit (PLPU) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Trudy-Ann Edwards, famers are suffering significant losses as a result of praedial larceny and other farm theft; therefore these workshops are very important.

“I cannot over emphasize the significance of sensitizing the Judiciary, especially as it relates to the negative impact of praedial larceny on economic development,” Ms. Edwards told JIS New.

She lamented that praedial larceny has evolved from just petty theft to an organized crime that threatens the food security of the nation. Ms. Edwards emphasised that praedial larceny should no longer be viewed as a man stealing few oranges, pineapples, or a head of cattle; therefore it is imperative that the Judiciary perceive it as a crime, similar to any murder case that is presented in the Courts.

She added that reports from the JCF show that there is a link between stolen cattle and the gun trade; hence the judiciary must understand that this is organized crime, so the manner in which the court discharges sentencing should fit the serious nature of the crime.

Ms. Edwards noted that statistics coming out of the JCF Operations Branch show that praedial larceny cases go through the court system at a very sluggish rate. For example, postponement of cases is very common and of course this exacerbates the frustration of farmers, she added.

An area of focus at the workshop will be legislative amendments, looking at Bills such as the Agriculture Produce Act, the Praedial Larceny Prevention Act and the Fisheries Industry Act.

Ms. Edwards noted that the Food Safety and Security Policy will also be one of the main areas of focus at the workshop.

She pointed out that there are serious health risks associated with the theft of agricultural produce and this is something that members of the public need to be sensitized about.

A second workshop targeting Resident Magistrates is scheduled for March.

JIS Social