Support After Leaving Station

Police are calling for an after-hours service to help Shepparton’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities understand their legal obligations and provide support in times of crisis.

Shepparton police youth resource officer Senior Constable Dean Lloyd said too many people were leaving the police station or court house and unintentionally breaching the conditions imposed on them.

‘I’ve picked up a guy two hours after he was released from court, sitting at his lounge room table eating lunch when he’s not to be within 200 meters of the place,’’ Sen Const Lloyd said. ‘He had to go back to court and was imprisoned for it. ‘To me, it’s a pure and simple misunderstanding. He just did not understand the conditions and that’s not right.’

Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District community development officer Khaluf Alsalim said the problem often stemmed from language barriers.

‘Not all in the culturally and linguistically diverse community speaks English,’ Mr Alsalim said. ‘Even people who do speak some English may struggle with law terminology. Mr Alsalim said a lack of community connections was also a significant factor for some new arrivals.

He estimated there were more than 200 people in the Shepparton area, often asylum seekers or refugees, who had no relatives of friends to support them in times of crisis. And it is at night, when the existing services are closed, when the need is greatest.

Although Victoria Police provides an interpreting service while people are at the police station, once they leave, they’re on their own, Sen Const Lloyd said. He said he hoped to model the initiative on the Koori Community Justice Panel and was working with UnitingCare Cutting Edge and the Ethnic Council to bring the concept to life.

‘We need someone to support them after they leave the station, to answer their questions, to give them a lift, to find them somewhere to stay for the night,’ Sen Const Lloyd said.

‘To let them know that what we do is not all about punishment, it’s about the safety of them and other people as well. We need someone that can stand up within the community and help people out in the middle of the night.’


Senior Constable Dean Lloyd along with the Ethnic Council are calling for volunteers to help with people who have dealings with the police after hoursl- Prabhjot Singh, Ihtisham Ali, Karem Alkarblac, Thon Thon, Senior Constable Dean Lloyd, Khaluf Alsalim.

Article and image courtesy Shepparton News




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