Manchester custos sends warning to unscrupulous JPs
Custos of Manchester, Garfield Green, is warning justices of the peace against asking for or accepting any incentives to perform their duties.
Green says he's concerned about incidents in the parish.
“Becoming a justice of the peace is a voluntary service…for the avoidance of doubt, as stated in Section 15 of the Justice of the Peace Act 2018, the Office of the Justice of the Peace is not one of emoluments, and the duty to carry out the functions of the office free of charge shall be deemed to be a requirement of the office,” he said in a statement.
“I am calling for members of the public to desist from offering payments or complying with the request to make payments to any justice of the peace for their services,” he added.
A justice of the peace, who spoke to The Gleaner on condition of anonymity, said he has knowledge of a number of his colleagues who accept donations.
“A lot of the stuff we do you have lawyers who charge a lot to do it and so when persons have a JP they can ask to sign sometimes they feel compelled to offer us money or offer to buy lunch. But the rule is that you are not to take it, but you know you have persons who will take it.”
The JP suggested that providing a stipend may act as a deterrent.
“There is a lot we do, we have to go all over, we have to do caution statements and even if the police call us in the middle of the night we have to go. Though this does not justify any JP accepting payment, it may be time they revisit calls for a stipend to be provided for JPs.”
Green is encouraging members of the public who have knowledge of fees being charged or are being asked to pay a fee to make a report.
Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.