Jamaica (Mckoy’s News) – JP’s New Law to Fight Crime Says Justice Minister: Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says custodes and Justices of the Peace (JPs) have a critical role to play in ensuring the protection of citizens’ rights, once an area has been designated a special crime zone.
Addressing the opening ceremony for the first Justice Centre in the island, in the parish of St. Ann, on July 6, Mr. Chuck said JPs should be present when security forces are conducting searches in these special zones.
“If a person is to be detained, the police will have to convince the JPs that this person is suspected (of committing a crime), and if the JPs disagree, the man must be released. If the JPs agree, within 24 hours that person must be taken before a parish judge,” he said.
Additionally, Mr. Chuck noted that the Mobile Justice Unit, which was launched earlier this year, will be stationed in the zones to further guarantee the protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms.
“So, if citizens feel that their rights are being infringed they can go into the Unit and explain the issue, and if property is damaged or rights are infringed, and it can be proven, then they will get compensation. This Government believes that the rights of the citizen and their dignity must be upheld,” he said.
Under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures Act), which is now before the Senate, an area would be designated a special crime zone by the Prime Minister, on the advice of the Chief of Defence Staff and the Commissioner of Police.
Security operations then take place in these high-crime areas, after which community development measures are initiated.
Meanwhile in her address, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Carol Palmer, said the opening of the Parish Justice Centre is the fulfilment of a commitment given by the Justice Minister in his 2017/18 Sectorial Debate that it would open in the first week of July
Jamaica Information Service