Arrest my son
By ADRIAN MILLER
REBECCA'S son didn't even come home for his 13th birthday.
As she sat forlornly hoping he would return, he was out roaming Grafton causing trouble, vandalising property and stealing.
Rebecca (not her real name) is a mum living in South Grafton who desperately wants to get her son, James (not his real name), off the streets. She has resorted to desperate measures to bring her child back, even begging the police to arrest him.
"I've asked the police to catch him and charge him, just to get him off the streets," she said.
"The police know where he is, they know he's up to no good but they won't pick him up and bring him home."
Rebecca, who the Department of Community Services (DoCS) has used in the past as a mentor for foster parents, has tried other avenues to find her son, but no-one seems to want to help her.
"DoCS have also let me down," she said.
"Why don't they help me get him home so I can get him out of Grafton and into a decent school?
"Why do they want another drop out on the streets?"
James ran away from home towards the end of August because Rebecca wanted to send him to an agricultural boarding school in Queensland. She said this was to keep him away from hanging around gangs.
"It's either boarding school or Acmena. If he stays on the streets here the police will eventually pick him up and they will lock him up and then I'll have lost him and there'll be no chance of ever bringing him back," she said.
Rebecca said sending James away to school would be the only thing which could save him.
"He's only 13-years-old, he needs an education," she said.
Police youth liaison officer Senior Constable Suzanne Kady, while not wanting to comment specifically on this case, said such issues were difficult for all parties involved.
"Parents get to the end of their rope when they contact police in these matters and we feel for them greatly, but it has to be a holistic approach," she said. "It's not just a policing issue, it involves education, DoCS and family support and if those things are in place then perhaps we wouldn't be that last resort."
Rebecca just wants her son home.
"It's tearing me apart," she said. "I've been driving and running around the streets like a chook with its head cut off trying to find him ? he's a threat to himself."
DoCS were approached for comment but did not respond before going to print.