Jamaica News: National Praedial Larceny Prevention Officer in the Praedial Larceny Prevention Coordination Unit (PLPCU), Sergeant Bruce Williams, is encouraging farmers to take the necessary precautions against farm theft during the festive season.
Sergeant Williams, who was speaking to JIS News during a recent interview, said that the incidence of praedial larceny tends to increase during the months of December and January.
In providing tips on how farmers can protect themselves and their properties, Sergeant Williams said that they should first ensure that they are registered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
All registered farmers and vendors are required to issue a receipt, identifiable by a unique number, to anyone who purchases agricultural produce, as proof of payment.
“It is a legal requirement if you are operating as a farmer that you register with RADA and when selling goods to issue a valid receipt at each point of sale. This will help us when we are intervening,” Sergeant Williams said.
He advised farmers to conduct all business transactions in a safe area and when visiting farms, they should do so in the company of others.
In addition, he said that they should always have, on hand, the contact information for their local police station, crime stop or police officer, and to report all incidents of praedial larceny promptly.
Sergeant Williams is also advising retailers and consumers to be vigilant when purchasing farm produce and animals during the festive season.
He warned that it is an offence for a retailer or consumer to be in possession of stolen goods, noting that they could be prosecuted.
“You should know where your produce is coming from. While you are supporting our local farmers, you must ensure that you buy from reputable sources. Cheaper may not be better because, sometimes, persons may be purchasing stolen and/or contaminated goods,” he said.
He pointed out that buying from unverified sources can also have health and safety implications.
Sergeant Williams is encouraging members of the public to share information with the police if they are aware of individuals who are engaging in praedial larceny.
However, he is warning them against confronting suspects, but to, instead, contact the nearest police station, crime stop, call 119 or make a report to any police officer.
Source: JIS News