The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Royal Grenada Police Force has launched a Predial Larceny Hotline committed to protecting farmers’ livelihood.
Minister of Agriculture & Lands, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford, launching the initiative at Tuesday’s post-cabinet briefing said Acting Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin and other officers of the RGPF are working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture curb the problem of predial larceny.
According to the minister, once launched there will commence a rigorous public awareness and education campaign since they recognize the need to have greater public participation in the fight against predial larceny.
She added that the ministry has reenacted its internal organs and the multi stakeholder’s predial larceny body to introduce the use of cameras and erect billboards at strategic locations throughout the country.
She revealed the Predial Larceny Hotline as #435 0300 assigned with shortcode 300, with the RGPF being fully responsible for the operations and maintenance at their police control centre.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Michael Francois explained that the RGPF operates a 24-hour police control centre where reports are attended to by various police stations and other agencies throughout the country, and therefore he is pleased to be part of the Predial Larceny Hotline launch, which will be an addition to what is already being done at the centre at the Police Headquarters.
He continued that the Hotline would give farmers an opportunity to report incidents that might be taking place on their farms in any area of the country and receive a response promptly. He noted that the initiative would ensure that at a control centre, which operates 24 hours daily, the information could be relayed to any area in Grenada from where the report is been made.
ACP Francois gave the assurance to farmers that there will be a responsible person there to answer their calls at any particular time with supervision from senior persons who will ensure that the complaints are dealt with and followed through to the end.
“We will do all that we can to ensure that farmers receive all the necessary assistance they wish to have whenever they make a report through the hotline”, he stated
He said that apart from the 300 hotline that was launched for reports of predial larceny, there are other hotlines dedicated to reports that farmers can also use such as 911 hotline for general emergencies, which he said works well.
The Predial Larceny 300 Hotline will be operational at the control centre at Police Headquarters, Fort George, St. George and reports will be relayed to all the divisions of the RGPF on island.
The senior officer pointed out that statistics have shown that in 2018 there were 403 reported cases of predial larceny throughout Grenada and in 2019 438 reported cases. He believes that the launch of the hotline should see a reduction in the incidents of predial larceny or farmers could see a quicker response to reports made.
Following the media launch, Minister Bain-Horsford delivered fifty (50) pairs of boots to the Predial Larceny Task Force to assist in carrying out their work more efficiently in the field.