Over the past eight years the incidents of praedial larceny has been worsening in my Constituency and throughout the nation of Trinidad and Tobago without any intervention by the PNM government. As crime continues to spiral out of control, the resources available to the Praedial Larceny Unit have been dwindling to the point of non-existence. There simply has been no thought given to the tens of thousands of farmers who are suffering from the theft of their livestock and crops which represent thousands and even millions of dollars in investment.
For this reason I am calling upon the PNM government to allow farmers the ability to secure and protect themselves and their property against the rampant theft and crime occurring in their communities as the government shows no interest in their safety and protection. Praedial larceny is only the latest in a long list of reason why the UNC, under the leadership of Kamla Persad Bissessar have been advocating for they introduction of ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislation to allow farmers and regular citizens the ability to safeguard their homes and property when the government fails to do so.
The effects of Praedial Larceny affects each and every citizen of this nation when they go to the market or grocery to buy fresh, local fruits, vegetable and meat products as the prices often increase to reflect the losses caused by theft. As the PNM have also demonstrated a lack of ability in dealing with rising inflation, the rising cost of food and other basic necessities only further increases the level of crime and criminality from people simply looking to feed their families. This cycle of theft and rising prices is entirely a product of PNM mismanagement in government as they fail to address even the most basic of issues that might improve the lives of our citizens.
It was the previous UNC administration, led by Kamla Persad Bissessar who created the Praedial Larceny Unit to protect farmers from the level of theft they are experiencing today, but under the PNM this unit has collapsed into ruin due to lack of funding and resources, as such they are no longer equipped to deal with the hundreds of cases of theft occurring on a daily basis.
It is therefore imperative that the government give the Praedial Larceny Unit the support they require to carry out their duties and prevent the crime affecting the Agricultural community. Or failing that, then at the very least they ought to allow farmers access to the tools necessary to defend themselves.