Sat | Aug 19, 2017

'Too many lazy JPs in Trelawny'

Published:Monday | May 29, 2017 | 5:00 AMLeon Jackson

WESTERN BUREAU:

Kenneth Grant Jr, the acting president of the Trelawny Association of Lay Magistrates (TALM), said the work of the association in the western parish is being undermined because there are far too many lazy justices of the peace (JP) in the system.

Grant, who is acting in a vacancy, created when Reverend Owen Watson, who had occupied the position as president until his recent resignation, made his claim while addressing the 20th Annual Prayer Breakfast of the association, which was held at the Glistening Waters Resort in Falmouth.

"There are too many of you who are using the JP designation to profile. I have problems getting justices to attend Petty Sessions Court, visit the lock-ups, and in general, deliver the services you have sworn to provide," said Grant. "There are too many lazy justices of the peace in Trelawny."

"This lack of service delivery puts additional pressure on those who are willing to serve. Sometimes I feel tired of going to the same ones over and over," added Grant, noting that the 'lazy' justices are not aware of how they can impact lives positively.

Grant, who lives in Albert Town in southern Trelawny, said the complement of JPs in his zone is 60, but because of challenges caused by poor performance by some of the justices, he has made recommendations to Trelawny Custos Paul Muschett for an additional 20 JPs to be installed.

UNACCEPTABLE

The senior justice of the peace, who is from an established business family, also bemoaned the shortage of police personnel in his section of the parish, noting that the situation is now at an unacceptable level.

"I cannot remember the last time I saw police on beat duty in southern Trelawny," said Grant, noting that the proper policing of communities is critical in the imposition of law and order.

Devon Brown, another senior justice of the peace, also noted that the shortage of police personnel was also impacting the appointment of justices of the peace. According to him, the police play a role in investigating persons recommended to become justices.

"The investigating officer has to be of the rank of an inspector. That shortage of police personnel influences the installation process," said Brown.