Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, says several strategies are being implemented to prevent and reduce praedial larceny.
“These include strengthening the legislative and policy framework, as well as collaborating with other entities, especially our partners in the criminal justice system, to implement special programmes,” Mr. Samuda said.
The Minister was making his contribution to the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 9.
He said there is an established relationship with key stakeholders, such as the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Health, Crime Stop, Jamaica Agricultural Society and the Attorney General’s Chambers, to tackle the problem.
Private stakeholders and especially farmers have also been engaged in developing strategies to reduce praedial larceny.
In addition, the Ministry, in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Justice, has sensitised parish court judges, clerks of the court and police officers on the extent, nature and magnitude of praedial larceny in Jamaica.
Other initiatives by the Ministry include the provision of three full-time police officers to address the issue, and the implementation of a Praedial Larceny Victim and Witness Care Unit.
Mr. Samuda explained that the unit will serve as a single point of contact for victims/witnesses in praedial larceny cases, where information can be obtained concerning the progress of their cases during the investigative stage and as the cases progress through the court. This also includes the disposition of the case.
Over the last two years, the country has witnessed a 50 per cent reduction in praedial larceny.