Custodes Have a Key Role in Maintaining Law and Order – PM

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (right), congratulates newly appointed Custos Rotulorum for the parish of St. Andrew, Dr. Patricia Dunwell, at an official installation ceremony at the Annuals Gardens at Hope Gardens, St. Andrew, on August 18. (Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson)

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the country’s Custodes have a key role to play in maintaining law and order in the society.

He noted that the public officials who serve at the parish level form the “framework of rebuilding Jamaica as a peaceful, loving and dignified society”.

The Prime Minister was delivering remarks at the official installation ceremony for newly appointed Custos Rotulorum for the parish of St. Andrew, Dr. Patricia Dunwell, held at the Annuals Gardens located at Hope Gardens, St. Andrew, on August 18.

He indicated that the Ministry of Justice has been working closely with Custodes and Justices of the Peace (JPs) to encourage greater collaboration between the police and citizens.

He noted further that the Ministry will be taking steps to increase the number of JPs across the island, and to improve training for Custodes and JPs to enable them to more effectively perform their roles.  Areas of training are mediation, restorative justice and conflict resolution.

Meanwhile, GovernorGeneral, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, commended Dr. Dunwell on her appointment.

He urged her to carry out her duties well and to seek to make an impact, particularly as it relates to youth empowerment.

He noted that the Governor-General’s Programme of Excellence (GGPE) provides a “broad platform to inculcate in young people the values to eschew the things negative about Jamaica and to embrace what is helpful for our growth and development”.

The GGPE, which includes the Governor-General’s Achievement Award (GGAA) and the service-oriented ‘I Believe Initiative’ (IBI), relies on the 14 Custodes, the island-wide network of JPs for its effective functioning, diffusing the messages, and maximising its impact on the nation.

 Dr. Dunwell, in her response, said she felt honoured and humbled by the appointment and pledged to work diligently “in this high office”.

“It is my intention to place focus on heightened mediation and counselling at the community level. We must act to bring peace to even the smallest misgivings,” she said.

Dr. Dunwell is a dermatologist by profession and is a well sought-after international lecturer. She specialises in the treatment of skin diseases in people of colour.

Custodes are appointed public officials, who represent the Governor-General at the parish level.  They also recommend persons for appointment as JPs.

Source: Jamaica Information Service