The Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck has given his support to INDECOM noting its legislative purpose and its role in preventing the excessive use of force by state agents against citizens.
The Justice Minister, however, noted that the relationship which exists between the Police and the Independent Commission of Investigation must be one of balance in order to ensure Human Rights are protected and justice is delivered. He said that police officers must be held accountable but whenever they are investigated and found to be operating within the law INDECOM must “exonerate them” and place as much emphasis in publicising this.
The INDECOM Act of 2010 replaced the Police Public Complaints Act that established an internal mechanism to investigate the actions of the police that result in death or injury or the abuse of the rights of persons. Despite the work of the Police Public Complaints Authority, the Bureau of Special Investigations and the results of several interventions at the legislative and policy levels, Jamaica continued to experience record levels of police violence and homicide as well as fatal shootings of police officers by hardened criminals.
The country cannot survive without brave citizens
Turning his attention to the spate of ATM scamming in Clarendon, Minister Delroy Chuck has called on Justices of the Peace in the parish to “Overcome timidity, learn to be brave and bold and stand up to criminals”. Chuck has urged JPs to work closely with the police, pastors and teachers to ensure stability and peace. Additionally, he told the gathering to report and inform on wrong doings to the relevant authority.
Delroy Chuck pointed out that communities must regain control of their areas and not allow criminal enclave to drive fear in them. “The country cannot survive without brave citizens. If there is no peace in your communities within a few years, I will blame you because [you are to foster peace] you are the Justices of the Peace.”
The Minister was addressing a gathering of Justices of the Peace in the parish of Clarendon on Wednesday (September 14). In excess of two hundred (200) JPs attended a town hall meeting with the Minister to address their increasing role in light of Restorative Justice practices. This meeting was a part of the Ministry’s effort to mobilize JPs in becoming an active part of the process of peace and stability in communities across the island.
By: Marie T. Henry