Is praedial larceny being treated as it should?
Farmers continue to suffer significant losses as a result of theft.

Dear Editor,

Something is not working in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with respect to praedial larceny. Recently a goat “teef” from my area was caught with goats in his Toyota Probox.

I called the local praedial larceny unit of the JCF in our parish and a member of the team said they were not aware of this.

How come?

One would think that anytime stolen goats are found every parish unit of the praedial larceny team would be made aware.

Many goatherders who have suffered loss will not report the matter to the police because the “police not doing anything”. Meanwhile, the police perspective is, “If you don't report theft of livestock we cant do anything.”

I will side with the disgruntled farmers in this one instance: A farmer witnessed a vehicle pull up, men threw two of his ram goats in the car, and then sped off. The car's registration plate was captured on camera, as well as the direction in which it went. The police were informed and the farmer was told that the plates were traced to an address in the parish. Up until now, over a year later, the police have not said anything to him about the investigation. So, in this instance, it truly seems like the police are not dong anything.

This goat stealing will not be stopped until prison sentences are mandatory and harsh.

Convicted goat thieves should only receive reduced sentences if they coorperate by identifying the purchasers of the stolen goats.

Farmers in my area have vowed that, whenever they catch a “goat teef the police will come and pick up the body”. But we can't have citizens taking the law into their own hands. And the police should do a better job communicating with farmers.

Praedial larceny is indeed our silent shame.

Authnel S Reid

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