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.
Voluntary work beckons for David Gawne after deciding to retire as a paramedic.
UPDATE: NSW Police have confirmed the body of a Warrnambool woman, 61, who went missing in the Murray River yesterday has been found.
Sixty years ago, March 5, 1954, was a red-letter day for Tatura, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the first reigning monarch to visit, came to town.
Echuca and Kyabram Fire Brigade will play in today's Goulburn Murray Cricket preliminary final.
Ritchie Aschenbrenner is exhibiting six years worth of paintings, covering a range of styles.
Kyabram's 69th annual rodeo takes place this Friday.
What was expected to be a long wait was anything but as young Seymour man gets heart transplant.
NSW signs historic Murray-Darling Basin Plan agreement.
The History of Tooborac group will be keen for gather more information about its photo collection when the publlic comes to look through its archives.
Three Cobram firefighters have returned safe from the toxic Morwell mine fire in Gippsland.
Gun Rams forward Ash Morris has signed with South Bendigo for the 2014 season and one day hopes to play VFL
Some VIP exotic animals spent the night at Shepparton Regional Saleyards on Wednesday night.
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.