More than 130 stolen animals were recovered during a major operation conducted by the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit in Clarendon on May 25.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Assan Thompson, is reporting that over 60 heads of cattle, and 70 goats were recovered by the police.
“I was forced to send the mobile reserve overnight (to maintain custody of the animals)…the reports coming to me a short while ago is that the animals are safe. So during the course of the day, we will have them taken to a safe location,” he said.
ACP Thompson made the disclosure while addressing a vehicle handover ceremony at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, at its Hope Gardens location in Kingston, today (May 26).
He also thanked the Ministry of Agriculture “for the support that they gave us overnight in acquiring space that we could store the animals.”
In addition to this latest breakthrough, the Unit has been recording substantial successes, such as almost weekly arrests, since it was established within the Ministry of Agriculture three months ago.
Citing a recent case, State Minister for Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Luther Buchanan, noted that between May 8 and May 15, two operations were conducted in Clarendon, where two alleged pig thieves were arrested, and 21 persons were charged for various offences.
He noted that the Unit has also facilitated numerous investigations related to farm theft across the island.
“We believe we have got the right formula to help stem this scourge of praedial larceny. Our officers are working in conjunction with a network of their colleagues in the JCF and they have access to law enforcement resources islandwide, so we have Jamaica covered,” he said.
In the meantime, the State Minister further welcomed the donation of the vehicle to the Unit by the Lasco Affiliated Companies, which he said will help in the Government’s relentless drive to combat praedial larceny.
“This will serve to increase the mobility of our team and enhance their work in the field. With better and greater mobility, we intend to give this our best shot, getting into every nook and cranny of the island to ferret out those who believe they can reap what they did not sow,” he said.
Executive Chairman of the Lasco Affiliated Companies, Lascelles Chin, said his company is pleased to have been able to donate the Toyota pickup valued at over $4 million.
“To me, praedial larceny is one of the worst situations (affecting the agricultural sector). In donating the vehicle, it will help (to fight the scourge),” he said.
The Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit was launched on March 12. Its work falls within the ambit of the Ministry of Agriculture, but its operations are executed under the direct responsibility of the officer in charge of all geographical divisions of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
By Alecia Smith-Edwards
Photo by: Yhomo Hutchinson