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May 8, 2014
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Farmers selling receipt booklets to criminals - police
Deon P. Green, Star Writer

Farmers in St Thomas have been found by the police to be making a thriving business selling receipts for agricultural products to criminals.

Superintendent Merrick Watson, the head of the St Thomas police, says such practice is fostering praedial larceny and has to stop. The superintendent, who was addressing a public forum in Morant Bay recently, noted: "We have seen where farmers are making a thriving business out of selling the tickets, receipt booklets to criminals. We have done the investigation and have seen where receipts have been traced all the way back to St Ann. So it's a case where the very farmers who are complaining about the issues of praedial larceny are the very farmers who are shooting themselves in the foot".

market trucks

He added that when stocked market trucks are stopped by the police, goods that cannot be accounted for will be confiscated and persons charged, while the truck will be emptied.

He pointed out that the police action will inconvenience farmers and higglers, as farmers assisting the criminals in committing praedial larceny is one issue the police have been grappling with in reducing such crimes.

He urged the farmers to report all incidences of praedial larceny and any other criminal offences, noting that the police cannot initiate strategies to stem the crimes if they are not accounted for on their blotters.

In an effort to stem praedial larceny, the Government has established a praedial larceny prevention programme with $7.3 million set aside in this year's Budget for the programme.

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