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The Ministry of Justice, on Thursday (October 22), convened its first virtual Justices of the Peace (JP) sensitisation session for approximately 150 JPs from Trelawny, St Ann and St Mary.

The sessions are part of ongoing training to equip the JPs to cope with the continued demand for justice services in their communities.

In his remarks, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, said the engagements are being used to edify JPs about areas of governance.

“Your opportunity here today is to listen, learn, note, and ask questions, so that you, as individuals, can be better informed, and when you are better informed you can provide better service to those around you,” he stated.

“We are going to use this facility to engage as many JPs across Jamaica. I want to thank all of you who have offered yourselves to serve the people of Jamaica, and I know your work in the community is well respected. You are the ones persons look to for information, guidance and leadership,” the Minister added.

Mr. Chuck urged the JPs to improve on their service delivery, noting that some appointees are undermining the vocation.

“I am in touch with the Custodes and I will be in touch with them to ask them to make sure that those Justices of the Peace who are acting inappropriately, that we find a way to decommission them, because we only want JPs who are really acting in the best interest of your community and Jamaica,” he stated.

The Minister also implored the JPs to follow coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols in place to limit the spread of infections.

He emphasised that in light of the virus having now entered the community transmission phase, “you do not know who has it”.

“So once you are in the public space, ensure that you have on your mask and try and keep six feet away [from persons]. This is a pandemic that we can manage. Far too many of us in Jamaica get the feeling it won’t affect us and when it [does], we say ‘if only we knew’,” Mr. Chuck said, adding that now is the time to take the necessary precautions.

He further urged the JPs to encourage persons they interact with to wear a mask in the public space.

“At home, if persons visit you, put on a mask and ask them to put on their mask. It is important [to note that] if we follow the protocols… we can curtail this virus. If all Jamaicans put on their mask over the next couple of weeks… we could get the numbers [of confirmed cases] back to single digits,” Mr. Chuck said.

The participants in Thursday’s session benefited from presentations by representatives of the Ministry, the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), and the Financial Investigations Division (FID).

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