The effectiveness of the commissioning of the rural constables programme continues to be under scrutiny.
It was noted that despite efforts and creative initiatives, farmers and fisherfolk continue to be affected by praedial larceny.
“Too many hardworking farmers continue to lose their cops and livestock to thieves. Too many fisherfolk continue to have their lobster pots poached by unscrupulous opportunists,” Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves said during the 2019 Budget presentation.
Traffickers are continuing to purchase items they know to be stolen goods, he added and with the focus on fisheries and cannabis cultivation, the threat of agricultural theft looms large he continued.
“The Government’s programme of rural constables too combat praedial larceny was well meaning, but ultimately ineffective – producing few arrests and fewer convictions.”
Gonsalves said that members of the farming and fishing community were involved in direct consultation with the hierarchy of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force and have been assured creative and focused attention to the problem.
During the 2018 Budget address, Gonsalves announced that the rural constable programme had failed and that the number of Rural Constables had been reduced.
The programme was implemented back in 2010 marking the final stage in the process which got started with the enactment of the Agricultural produce and Livestock (Prevention of theft) Act in 2007.

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