The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) today warned that measures were being put in place to arrest the vexing practice of praedial larceny.
The caution came as a yet another man faced the law court today charged with stealing sweet potatoes.
“The police are committed to ensuring the full support for the island’s farmers and as such several initiatives will be put in place shortly to intensify our crime prevention in investigative efforts with regards to the theft of agricultural produce,” Public Relations Officer Acting Assistant Superintendent of Police David Welch told Barbados TODAY.
Hayden Ricardo Brathwaite, 42, of Church Village, St Philip appeared before the District “C” Magistrates Court accused of stealing produce from a field at Sunbury Tenantry belonging to Armag Farms on March 26.
Yesterday, Grantley McDonald Dacosta Thorpe, 52, of Valley Land, St George was remanded to jail after he pleaded guilty to stealing 105lbs of potatoes, while on Monday, Ian Emmerson Bennett, 41, of Cliff, St John confessed to five counts of stealing sweet potatoes from the Edgecumbe and Sunbury Plantations.
Welch said the practice had been ongoing for much too long and appealed to the public to help put a stop to it.
Just, yesterday Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society James Paul stated that while he was pleased with the efforts of the police, farmers were also putting their own measures in place to deal with the theft of their crops.
Lamenting that a farmer could lose up to $10,000 in crop theft on any given night, Paul said: “We have been doing neighbourhood watches among farmers and encourage farmers to look out for one another.
“But all of this cannot be done without the cooperation of persons in Barbados who are at least sympathetic to the fact that there are farmers out there who are trying to earn a living.” (FW)