Officers of the Praedial Larceny Unit have received snake protection gear and other equipment.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, Natural Resources and Co-operatives made the donation.
The protection equipment includes snake gaiters and expandable batons.
Praedial Larceny Unit officers say the items will better protect them against snakes and other hazards.
Unit head, Pancras Albert, said he was happy to get the new equipment.
“Because everyday we go out there, we encounter problems with snakes,” he stated.
“We’re just lucky that we have not gotten bitten by a snake yet,” he stated.
The Communications Unit of the Department of Agriculture quoted his comments.
The Permanent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, Natural Resources and Cooperatives, Barrymore Felicien, also spoke at the handing over ceremony.
Felicien stressed the importance of ensuring that officers get adequate equipment.
He said this would enable them to better serve and protect farmers and others.
Felicien disclosed that the Praedial Larceny Unit currently has some 13 staff members.
They work out of three different districts – Choiseul, Micoud and Richfond.
However, Felicien observed that the officers have to cover the entire Island.
He revealed that in 2019 there were just about 524 cases of praedial larceny.
But the PS said it seems that during the spike in COVID there was also a spike in praedial larceny cases.
“So you saw about a 39 percent increase to 729 cases,” he observed.
He said this means last year officers had to deal with an increase in over 200 cases,” Felicien stated.
“The effectiveness of the unit depends on the protection of the officers,” he asserted.