Justices of the Peace (JPs) have been urged to work more closely with the police to help curb crime and violence.
Speaking at a commissioning ceremony for 43 new JPs for St. James at the Holiday Inn Resort in Rose Hall last Thursday, Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, noted that the “rights and freedoms of many of our citizens in many communities are being pushed over… by violence producers, who believe that because they have guns they can dictate to communities, and that is something we have to take up and face head-on”.
“Not only must you ensure that justice is done across many communities but you must now work very closely with other stakeholders, especially the police, in ensuring that we have peace across every neighbourhood and community across Jamaica,” Mr. Chuck said.
He encouraged the JPs to attach themselves to one of the many police stations across Jamaica to initiate and maintain community-police management groups.
“Where you know of abuses, where you know of criminality, corruption, indiscipline, disorder and lawlessness, bring it to the attention of the police. Do not try to solve it, because that is police work,” he urged.
Noting that JPs have a responsibility to help in the governance of the country, Minister Chuck urged the 43 newly minted officers for St. James to strive to stamp their mark on society by volunteering their service in areas where they can make a difference.
“I want to emphasize to every single one of you that now that you have the acronym JP behind your name, let it mean something… make a difference. Not only within yourself, your family, your community but, if possible, to this nation. You have experience, you have many skills. You have an imagination that you have not utilised so far. Utilise that imagination to think of what you can do and what Jamaica can become if each of us plays our part,” he implored.
He also reminded them that in their capacity as JPs, it is imperative that emphasis be placed on ensuring that justice and peace are properly pursued.
In his charge to the appointees, Custos of St James, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, urged the new JPs to promote good governance and citizenship as well as to be positive role models in their communities.