About Us

What is YRIPP?

YRIPP is the Youth Referral and Independent Person Program. YRIPP delivers a high quality system of adult volunteers called “Independent Persons” who attend police interviews with young people in police custody when a parent or guardian is not available. YRIPP also seeks to divert young people from future offending through early intervention at the point of police contact.

YRIPP provides:

  • Volunteer Independent Persons to attend Victorian police stations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Up-to-date training and ongoing support for volunteer Independent Persons.
  • Information about helpful support services for young people.
  • Resources about the youth justice system and support services for police and parents.
  • Access to 24-hour telephone legal advice for young people in police custody, provided by lawyers from Victoria Legal Aid.

What does a YRIPP Independent Person do?

Young people are vulnerable when they come into contact with police. The law requires an adult to be present during formal police questioning of persons under 18 years. YRIPP Independent Persons are trained volunteers who attend police interviews and support young people, when a parent or guardian is not available.

At the police station, the Independent Person speaks privately with a young person before they are formally questioned by police. The Independent Person checks on their welfare and ensures that they understand their legal rights. The Independent Person then sits with the young person throughout police questioning and processing to provide support.

A YRIPP Independent Person also talks to a young person about services that may be able to help them. This confidential discussion at the earliest point of contact between a young person and the justice system is an opportunity in a young person’s life to divert them from future offending.

Working with Victoria Police

YRIPP assists Victoria Police members to do their job by providing a single telephone number to access:

  • Trained Independent Persons for young people under 18 years.
  • Legal advice for young people provided by Victoria Legal Aid lawyers.
  • Independent Third Persons for people who have a cognitive impairment, provided by the Office of the Public Advocate.

YRIPP Independent Persons arrive at the police station within 40 mins of being called, 24 hours a day, seven days per week throughout Victoria.

Working with Other Services

Contact YRIPP:

  • If your service works with young people and you want to receive referrals from YRIPP.
  • If you are a lawyer for a young person or a police officer and want to access our records or an Independent Person about a particular interview.