Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says the Government is committed to ensuring that persons charged with major crimes involving murder, drugs, illegal possession of firearm, extortion and lotto scamming are tried and put away within weeks or months.
“The resources will be provided in the budget so that… they will get their justice within months. We have to… hit the criminals hard in the face right away, so that criminals definitely will not get away,” he added.
He noted that the judiciary’s new sentencing guidelines, to be launched in short order , will send a strong message to criminals that they should not expect light sentences when they commit reprehensible acts.
Mr. Chuck was delivering the keynote address at the installation ceremony for 77 newly commissioned Justices of the Peace (JPs) for St. James held at the West Jamaica Conference Centre in Montego Bay on Wednesday (January 17).
He urged the JPs to be upfront in the fight against crime in the parish.
“All stakeholders in the justice sector, of which you are now a part, will have to play our part. We have to lead not only by example but in the community,” Mr. Chuck said.
He encouraged them to “get together, talk about the problem, meet regularly and see how you can be a part of the solution. As JPs I don’t expect you now to revert to your peepholes and hide away from everybody. Work with one another. Work with the police officers, work with the community. Work so hard that people will see the good works as ‘the Good Book’ teaches you”.
“Accept the challenge of dealing with the crime problem. Because, if the decent law-abiding citizens of this country really pull together, we can expose the criminals. It can be done. I know it can be done,” he added.