67 new officers join Praedial Larceny Squad

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Agriculture Minister Kazim Hosein, centre, and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi, second from left (front row), along with the new officers assigned to the Praedial Larceny Squad and their senior officers at the graduation ceremony held at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando on March 28. – Photo courtesy Ministry of Agriculture

A total of 67 new officers have joined the Praedial Larceny Squad.

The Ministry of Agriculture Land and Fisheries said the officers will bolster the unit in an attempt to safeguard farmers’ livelihoods and safeguard the future of the agricultural sector.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando on March 28, Agriculture Minister Kazim Hosein said with the additional manpower and a fleet of vehicles, the squad is ready to deal with the lawbreakers.

“We are now ready and equipped to address and deal with the outlaws,” he said.

The 61 constables, including 18 women and 43 men, six corporals of which two are women, will now boost the squad’s complement to 104 officers whose main job is to protect farmers from praedial larceny.

The squad’s administration officer Shaishnarine Katwaroo said the graduates underwent rigorous training and they are well-equipped to confront the challenges farmers are facing.

Hosein said the current squad’s model was based on successful international and regional units within Caricom, particularly Jamaica’s specialised unit combating agricultural theft.

He emphasised the importance of community engagement and strategic law enforcement, contributing to considerable success in similar initiatives.

“Our strategy revolves around robust partnerships with stakeholders, including the TTPS and the TT Municipal Police Service (TTMPS), amplifying our efforts in combating praedial larceny,” he said.

Hosein said the squad has performed notably with arrests and convictions, extensive patrols, farm visits as well as filing reports although the unit was small in number.

“Despite challenges, including the temporary closure of some offices, we have demonstrated resilience and adaptability, reaffirming our dedication to combating praedial larceny.”

San Fernando West MP and Minister of Local Government Faris Al-Rawi also congratulated the graduates and reminded them of their responsibilities as they entered the ranks.