Newly commissioned St James JPs urged to aid in safeguarding nation’s well-being
ST JAMES, Jamaica – Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, has charged 28 newly appointed Justices of the Peace (JPs) for St James to play their part in ensuring the security and well-being of the nation.
The JPs were commissioned during a ceremony at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James, on Wednesday.
Chuck attributed the rise in crime to the support criminals receive from members of the community who protect them.
“There are people in these communities who support them, who know they’re gunmen but, oftentimes, they benefit from the scamming, the extortions and from the activities of the criminals,” he pointed out.
Consequently, Chuck said the onus is on the incoming JPs to play their part to aid in safeguarding the lives of Jamaicans.
“Jamaica is being overwhelmed by abuses, crime and violence, and the justices of the peace, if collectively they could work together, work with the police [and] work with other stakeholders, then the criminals in our midst will have no space,” he emphasised.
The minister further underscored: “Jamaica cannot survive if we turn a blind eye to wrongdoings of any kind… because what is holding back Jamaica are these corruptive activities and the indiscipline on the roads.”
“So, justices of the peace, you have to go beyond witnessing signatures [and] giving recommendations. You have to now start to think of the national interest, not only to secure the peace in your own homes… but in your communities and across Jamaica.
“As justices of the peace… you must not only be humble but start to exercise proactive leadership; not in a boisterous way, but in a way where you not only better inform yourselves, but in trying to be helpful to others,” he further stated.
The minister maintained that “in offering yourself as a JP, you’re now in the public’s eye and people will seek your assistance… and therefore I beg you to do so with enthusiasm”.
Chuck pointed out that JPs have, in the past, been found soliciting compensation for engagements carried out.
He emphasised that the integrity of JPs is worth more than any monetary gift or payment from individuals and encouraged them to refuse these gestures, adding that those failing to refrain will be prosecuted.
“Your integrity is worth many million times more than a $5,000 or $10,000; at any time anyone offers you something, refuse it,” Chuck further underscored.