February 11, 2021The Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit (PLPU), which operates in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has embarked on a series of virtual town hall meetings with farmers across Jamaica. The latest one was held on Thursday, February 11 in St. Thomas.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Bishop Dr. Gary Welsh who heads the PLPU, which falls under the Force’s Strategic Operations Branch thanked the farmers for the value they continue to add to the economy. He encouraged them to deepen their partnership with the police as the JCF aims to continue reducing praedial larceny.

Superintendent Velma Thomas Gayle, the meeting’s moderator, shared that the “PLPU is responsible for the protection of our farmers. The unit exists so that farmers can reap what they sow.”

Superintendent Allison Byfield, head of the St. Thomas Police Division reassured farmers that the St. Thomas Police are making significant achievements in the prevention and reduction of praedial larceny in the parish. She stated that in 2020, there were 198 reported cases of praedial larceny. Fifteen arrests were made; 26 goats and 13 of 18 stolen cattles were recovered.

She also shared that just yesterday (Wednesday, February 10) one man was arrested and charged in Seaforth in the parish after he failed to give a lawful account for how he came in possession of goat carcasses. She said the man was intercepted about 3:05 a.m., in a white Nissan AD wagon motor car. The vehicle was searched and the  goat carcasses found inside the trunk. Superintendent Byfield said the man has been identified as 35-year-old Prince Henry, a taxi operator of Harwood Drive, Kingston 20. This arrest was due to increased patrols focused on praedial larceny.

Also during the meeting, farmers were enlightened on how to secure their farm as well as ways in which they can make themselves a harder target for would-be thieves. 

The farmers were assured that the PLPU is committed to the task of ensuring that farmers reap the ‘fruits of their labour.’

Some of the other presenters were:

* Ms. Bevene Dickonson – Parish Agricultural Manager (RADA)

* Hon. Floyd Green, MP, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries

*Dr. Osbil Watson, Veterinary Services Division (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries)

* Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake, Strategic Operations.

The PLPU team will continue the series next Thursday in St. Mary.