Wednesday 5 August, 2020

Some cops asking JPs to sign blank forms, says Chuck

Delroy Chuck

Delroy Chuck

Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, has cited that some policemen have been asking justices of the peace (JP) to sign blank recommendations, character references and passport forms, a practice that is illegal.

Chuck, who was speaking at the commissioning service for 34 new JPs for the parish of St Elizabeth in Santa Cruz on Wednesday, said Jamaica was beset by many forms of wrongdoing, including corruption, illegality and misfeasance of all kinds.

“And sadly, there are justices of the peace who have facilitated it, because oftentimes they sign documents for persons who they don’t know,” Chuck remarked.

He said some policemen working in areas under states of emergency (SOE), have been asking justices to sign blank forms for them.

Chuck warned that he would be recommending that the custodes in the respective parishes decommission JPs who engage in the illegal activity.

The justice minister also said he has been shown many instances by the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), of JPs who routinely signed blank forms for persons who they do not know. He said some JPs have taken on the practice “as if it were a career”.

Chuck implored the new justices to report their colleagues to the custodes if they observe such practices.

He reminded them of an alleged rapist from Manchester who was given a recommendation by a JP that allowed him to get a job at a resort in St James, where the individual allegedly raped two visitors in their room in 2018.

Chuck said the manager of the hotel has since indicated to him that if the recommendation had not come from a JP, he would not have hired the individual.

Chuck told the JPs to at all times ensure that their integrity is intact, pointing out that because of weaknesses on the part of JPs in “yielding to demand, yielding to 'urgings' and requests from corrupt persons, a lot of wrongdoing has taken place in this country. And I’m begging you to stop it.”

Meanwhile, Chuck urged the new justices to consider becoming mediators, to help to reduce the backlog of cases in the court system.

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