Victims of Crime
Victoria Police strives to deliver service excellence and is committed to:
- Reducing victimisation
- Enhancing services for those in need of assistance; and
- Building community confidence and trust.
This is achieved by adopting a victim-centric approach to policing. Victoria Police aims to increase confidence in the broader criminal justice system, improve victim participation and see an improvement in crime reporting rates by providing a consistent quality service to all victims.
Victim-centric Policing recognises that victims and those in need of assistance are central to policing practice. It seeks to:
- Uphold and reinforce human rights.
- Effectively deliver services in a respectful and courteous manner.
- Provide support in a considerate, equitable, responsive and client focused manner.
- Provide timely information of the investigation and prosecution processes.
- Minimise secondary victimisation.
Police officers are in a unique position because they are usually the first point of contact for those impacted by crime. They provide a gateway to the criminal justice system and can potentially intervene early to prevent crime, and where crime occurs to minimise associated harm.
Specifically for victims, police officers can provide appropriate information and support associated with the investigation and prosecution processes to minimise the risk of further trauma or secondary victimisation. Police can also refer victims and others in need of assistance to a relevant support service.
This contributes to the goal of reducing victimisation in the first instance, while lessening the adverse effects of victimisation on the broader community.
Victoria Police aims to ensure that victims and those in need of assistance are:
- Treated with dignity, courtesy and respect.
- Provided with appropriate information and support in a timely manner.
Victoria Police will aim to meet these objectives by:
- Responding to the diverse needs of those in need of assistance, while being respectful of their circumstances.
- Demonstrating accountability in responses to victims of crime through adherence to the Victims Charter Act 2006 and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, Information Privacy Act 2000 and through access to complaints resolution.
- Recognising the impact of investigation processes on peoples' safety and welfare.
- Working with community and government partners to ensure that victims and those in need of assistance receive appropriate and timely support.
- Improving the confidence and respect of all community members impacted by crime.
- Monitoring our services and obtaining feedback about our service delivery response.
- Maintaining a commitment to continuous improvement of our response to victims of crime and those in need of assistance.
Victoria Police will uphold the following principles when supporting victims and their needs by:
- Treating all victims with dignity and respect.
- Fully considering a victim's perspective in approaching activities.
- Being inclusive of all parties in the criminal justice system.
- Providing victims with timely and appropriate information as long as required.
- Providing victims and those in need of assistance with access to timely and appropriate support.
- Intervening early on the issues associated with crime and victimisation.
Future Directions to Victim-Centric Policing
This document outlines Victoria Police's commitment to enhance service delivery for victims and those in need of assistance.
The Victims' Charter Act (2006)
This law states how the criminal justice system services and victim support services should treat all victims of crime. If you believe any of your rights under this law have not been respected then you have the right to make a complaint. Call the Victims' Charter Enquiries and Complaints Line on 1800 118 728.
Information and resources for victims of crime
The Victims Support Agency (VSA) within the Department of Justice and Regulation represents victims of crime and coordinates services for victims.
Information and resources for victims of crime can be found at http://www.victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au/. The website outlines where you can get the help you need, learn about your rights and entitlements, and access useful publications.
Support for victims of crime
If you are a victim of a recent crime the Victim's Guide to Support Services and the Criminal Justice System (PDF) can help you with the effects of the crime now. Later, it will help you during the legal process.
The Victims of Crime Helpline (1800 819 817) is staffed by specially trained Victim Support Officers. The helpline operates between 8am and 11pm seven days a week. The helpline can provide information and support as well as assist victims with the following:
- Making a Victim Impact Statement - if someone pleads guilty or is found guilty of the crime, you can tell the court about how the crime has affected you.
- Applying for inclusion on the Victims Register - this provides information to eligible victims about prisoners under sentence in Victoria for a violent crime against the victim.
- Applying for victims of crime compensation and financial assistance in Victoria - if your financial situation has changed because of a crime, you may be entitled to financial assistance to help with the expenses you have.
Victims of Crime Commissioner
This role was created in 2014 to improve services and systems within government departments, victims service providers and the justice system to meet the needs of victims of crime. The Victims of Crime Commissioner is an independent and central point of contact for victims of violent crime who have experienced difficulties or confusion in their dealings with the justice system and government agencies.
Victims Advisory Unit
Tel: 9247 6376