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Praedial thieves targeted

Published:Saturday | June 25, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Coordinator for the Farm Watch programme Sergeant Maurice McLean (right) presents a certificate to residents of the Manchioneal Farm Watch at the launch on June 17 at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority office at Folly Road in Port Antonio, Portland.

Farmers in Portland are to benefit from the recent launch of three farm watches in the parish by the Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force aimed at reducing praedial larceny. The watches have been set up in the communities of Manchioneal, Snow Hill and Cambridge, the pioneer groups in Portland.

The Farm Watch programme coordinator, Sergeant Maurice McLean, told farmers that one of the main objectives is to ensure that farmers receive major returns on their investments. He explained that the farm watch is not solely to address praedial larceny, but to empower farmers to be proactive. The police conduct farm visits and security surveys to mitigate the security risks that will provide an opportunity for thieves, he noted.

McLean encouraged the use of technology, as the criminals use their network to alert each other, he advised the farmers to capture videos and images of their animals to use as evidence if they are ever required to identify them.

Parish manager of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority in Portland, Erica Daley, extended an invitation to stakeholders to assist the farmers.

Daley told farmers that Farm Watch will help them to be more proactive; for example, putting more lighting on their farms, establishing perimeter fencing and breaking their routines.