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.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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