Emerging trend: Stolen meat being traded for guns - cop
The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force is reporting a 14 per cent decline in praedial larceny across the island since its launch on March 2.
It says between March 2 and October 5, 133 breaches of the Agricultural Produce Act were prosecuted yielding 115 convictions, of which 17 matters are still before the court.
The team has also reportedly visited 92 farms, disposed of approximately 4,200 pounds of uncertified meats and have engaged in 54 farmers/stakeholder meetings across the island.
Addressing farmers on Tuesday deputy superintendent of police Kevin Francis, who heads the unit, explained that over $5 billion is being lost annually through praedial larceny.
But he is assuring farmers that the unit stands resolute and committed to its motto “Ensuring Jamaican Farmers Reap What They Grow”.
Meanwhile, DSP Francis also notes what he says is an emerging trend whereby meat is being traded for guns across Caribbean territories.
He says given the emerging trend, farmers should register their animals under the Rural Agricultural Development Agency Animal Traceability System so that if they are stolen the meat can be easily identified.
Farmers are also being urged to assist the Police by reporting all instances of praedial theft and joining or starting Famers Watch Programs in their areas.
DSP Francis is also calling for changes to the legislative framework so that stiffer penalties can be enforced as a means of curtailing praedial larceny.