The Youth Referral and Independent Person Program provides an independent person to sit in on police interviews with those under 18 in the absence of a parent or guardian.CHLOE WARBURTON February 8, 2012 4:33am
Youth Referral and Independent Person Program northern Victoria regional co-ordinator Duncan Blandford and volunteer Phaee McCall.
At any time of the day, there could be a young person in Shepparton being taken into police custody.
That’s where a valuable volunteer-based service comes in.
The Youth Referral and Independent Person Program provides an independent person to sit in on police interviews with those under 18 in the absence of a parent or guardian.
Shepparton’s Phaee McCall is one of those volunteers; as an independent person, Mrs McCall sits in when young people are interviewed by police, provides them with legal information and refers them to another service for more help.
She has volunteered for the program for six months; her first call-out was at 6.30
Other times, it might be weeks until a call came through.
‘‘I’d been wanting to do something like this for a long time, and when I heard there was a program in Shepparton, I decided to do the training,’’ she said.
‘‘I find the time spent very rewarding; when I’m introduced to the young person, their eyes just light up when they find out I’m not a police officer and I’m there to support them.’’
The program, which is in partnership with Victoria Police, the Centre for Multicultural Youth and UnitingCare Cutting Edge, now works with more than 2500 young people in police custody each year.
The program’s northern Victoria regional co-ordinator Duncan Blandford said it was a legal requirement for a person under 18 to have an independent person present during a police interview and the program was looking for volunteers in the Shepparton, Mooroopna and Tatura area.
‘‘All the young people who have an independent person provided for them are in a situation where their parents or guardians are unable to attend for whatever reason,’’ Mr Blandford said.
‘‘It’s also about referring the young person to other services so they avoid reoffending.’’
Volunteers are required to undergo two days of training, as well as refresher courses twice a year, and will need police and working with children checks.
When Sam Atukorala addresses his children in his mother tongue of Sinhalese, they understand him completely, but they always reply in English.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
The Shire of Campaspe is concerned as to the incomplete reporting of Port of Echuca property matters.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Scout Group hopes to raise funds for World Scout Jamboree through novel 24-hour endurance test.
Forest tour only way to understand impact.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.