Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley speaking to the new Justices of the Peace at a brief installation ceremony at the Wildey Gymnasium, yesterday. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government remains committed to the decentralisation of services in the community.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley reiterated this commitment today, as she addressed a brief installation ceremony, at the Wildey Gymnasium, where 436 Justices of the Peace were installed. They were nominated in 2020 and 2021, but no ceremony was held last year.

Ms. Mottley noted that even in the midst of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Government re-built outpatient clinics in St. Andrew and St. Joseph, so persons could be provided with necessary services in their communities.

“We recognise that services are best delivered in the communities in which people find themselves…. We will continue as a Government to deliver services in the communities as far as possible, and as quickly as our fiscal circumstances allow.

“When we marry that provision of services with your presence in the community – …school teachers, principals, pastors and preachers, community groups, social groups and sporting groups – then we have the architecture for keeping a strong nation, literally, and moving from that strength to higher levels of strength as we go forward,” she insisted.

The Prime Minister told her audience that some people were of the view that they could take the law into their own hands. However, she stressed that whether “original violence or vigilante violence, it is unacceptable in our landscapes….

“The law does not give you the right to impose your version of justice on other persons. That is why the police and the courts exist in order for us to have a transparent system that is above all other considerations of partiality….,” she emphasised.

Ms. Mottley said it was important to inculcate that sense of active citizenship in nationals. She stressed that in addition to benefitting from their rights under the Constitution, citizens should deliver on those responsibilities imposed on them.

“And, as a result, that duty to care for each other and that duty to help build out this nation becomes absolutely important for you to honour, if we are to get from strength to strength,” she stated.  

In her welcome, acting Cabinet Secretary The Most Honourable Alies Jordan, told the Justices of the Peace that there was a need to help young people improve their understanding of what it means to be a Barbadian.

“And, therefore, we are going to ask each of you while you are at work in your communities or in your community of practice, please spend some time to help the young people develop, and help them understand and build their characters…,” Ms. Jordan urged.

This was the first installation of Justices of the Peace since Barbados became a Parliamentary Republic on November 30.

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