Rural constables Programme Is Well-Meaning, But Ultimately Ineffective

Despite a number of conscientious efforts and creative initiatives, our farmers and fisherfolk continue to be bedevilled by the crime of praedial larceny.

Too many hardworking farmers continue to lose their crops and livestock to thieves. Too many fishermen continue to have their lobster pots poached by unscrupulous opportunists. And too many traffickers, vendors and consumers continue knowingly to purchase stolen goods.

With this year’s developmental focus on fisheries and medicinal cannabis cultivation, the threat of agricultural theft looms large.

The Government’s programme of rural constables to combat praedial larceny was well-meaning, but ultimately ineffective – producing few arrests and fewer convictions.

We have placed the farming and fishing communities in direct consultations with the top brass of the Police Force, and we have been assured of creative and focussed attention to this stubborn developmental threat in 2019.

Despite the pithy pronouncements and simplistic solutions glibly offered by all manner of self-anointed experts, the battle against crime is an unceasing and complicated endeavour; requiring sustained effort, patience and commitment from all segments of society.

Within the framework of the Government’s 14-point strategy to combat crime and the causes of crimes, issued in 2003, and the Police Force’s comprehensive “Crime Strategic Plan 2018-2021,” this Budget continues to commit ever-increasing resources to the manpower and material required for effective crime prevention.

We are determined to root out criminality and effectively address the causes of crime in every corner of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

But we cannot do it alone. As always, we need all hands on deck in this vital battle for the safety and security of our people.