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.
Jan and Peter Wallace will attend the most emotional Anzac Day dawn service there is.
The Yarrawonga and District Cemetery Trust has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Department of Health to undertake development work at the Yarrawonga cemetery.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Echuca shearer Franky Atkinson has earned himself a return trip to New Zealand next year after an impressive run of performances in shearing competitions.
William Napier, whose remains lie in Rochester cemetery, received the Empire's highest honour for gallantry while fighting for the British army during the Indian Mutiny.
Tongala family hopes for transplant call for six-year-old.
Family of former Seymour man killed in a road crash in Los Angeles before Christmas set up a Melbourne University scholarship in his honour.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
The Cancer Council Relay For Life fundraiser is a cause close to the hearts, and feet, of many district residents.
Redgum sculpture is carved at Thompsons Beach, Cobram.
Deniliquin Police ConFest Operation nets 76 drug detections.
Murray Goulburn has lifted its milk prices to about $6.66 kg milk solids.
Benalla's Joda Plex was named Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFEs student of the year at her graduation this month.
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.