Jamaica News: Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is calling on justices of the peace (JPs), to always be visibly active in diffusing tensions and conflicts in their communities and sow the seeds of peace.
He was speaking at the installation of Custos Rotulorum of Manchester, Hon. Garfield Green, by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at Northern Caribbean University on August 29.
“We cannot overemphasise the value of custodes and justices of the peace to the community and, by extension, Jamaica. Chief magistrates, justices of the peace and lay magistrates are still required to assist in keeping law and order, discipline and peace in your respective parishes,” Mr. Shaw said.
He reminded them of their commitment, upon taking the oaths of allegiance and office, to embrace opportunities for promoting justice and peace, not only in Petty Sessions of the Court but also in their communities.
“While the large majority of Jamaicans are doing their best to build this country through their hard work and honest, enterprising approach, unfortunately there are others who seem bent on destroying our country and have no qualms about wrecking the prospects of honest people, snuffing out the lives of our people, including innocent infants and children,” the Minister lamented.
He called on law-abiding citizens not to remain so fearful that they refrain from reporting crimes or giving the police useful information, because making reports could prevent crimes or bring criminals to justice.
The Minister emphasised that Jamaica needs to return to the peaceful and caring society that it once was, adding that in an effort to empower and strengthen the custodes and JPs to effectively carry out their roles, the Government has undertaken training programmes in the areas of mediation, restorative justice and conflict resolution. Steps have also been taken to increase the number of JPs across the island.
“I applaud Mr. Green for continuously embracing the spirit of voluntarism to advance our country’s development. Through hard work, preparation, discipline, focus and motivation Jamaica can achieve much more than it is doing,” Mr. Shaw said.
He encouraged Custos Green to lead the charge to motivate all residents, including those in the diaspora, private-sector entities, service clubs, pastors, teachers, farming and youth groups, to participate in the growth and development of the parish.
Mr. Shaw also thanked outgoing Custos, Sally Porteous, on behalf of the citizens of Manchester, for her more than seven years of service to the parish.
Meanwhile, the Governor-General reminded the Custos that the position represents not only prestige but also dignity, integrity and impartiality as well as an opportunity to serve responsibly while making a meaningful contribution to the parish of Manchester.
In his response, Custos Green characterised the occasion as a defining moment in his career and accepted the honour with humility, dignity and gratitude.
He pledged to provide the adequate number of trained JPs to serve the parish, “to build our effectiveness, professionalism and confidence in all areas of service”.
“As leaders, we have the moral obligation to serve and protect our citizens, young, old, weak, strong, sick and healthy and those impacted by unfavourable conditions. It is my belief that every citizen is entitled to equal justice and security,” the Custos said.
Source: JIS News