Criminal complaint and investigation

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In addition to civil responses for intervention orders, there are criminal investigations that occur for incidents involving Victoria Police employees where a crime is alleged. The following investigation processes apply for family violence, sexual offences and child abuse matters.

The investigator will be required to declare and document any actual or perceived conflict of interest to ensure impartiality throughout the investigation. If a conflict of interest is identified the investigation will be transferred to another investigator.

A criminal investigation involves taking the matter to court:

  • as part of evidence collection, you will be asked to make a statement and may also need to attend court.
  • once you have made a statement it is referred to as a formal report.
  • the court requires evidence to be strong to prove the charge ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.
  • police will gather evidence for a Brief of Evidence. This may take some time.
  • you have the right to be kept informed about how the investigation is going.
  • the investigator will provide you with updates on the progress of the investigation. These include things such as arrest and interview of the perpetrator, when or if they will be charged, brief authorisation and time frames, court dates and outcomes.
  • the investigator must comply with the Victims Charter Act 2006. For further information regarding the investigator’s responsibilities in complying with the Victims Charter Act 2006 visit the Victims of crime website

Charged with a Criminal Offence

If there is sufficient evidence, the police employee perpetrator will be interviewed. After the interview there are several outcomes:

  • charge and remand - the perpetrator will be held in custody of police until a specified court date
  • charge and bail - the perpetrator is charged with the offence and is released to attend a court date with certain bail conditions
  • charge and summons - the perpetrator is served with charges and given a date to appear at court
  • intent to summons - the investigator intends to charge however collection and assessment of further evidence is required first to meet the threshold to authorise criminal charges
  • released with enquires pending (EP) - this means that further investigation is required to ensure there is sufficient evidence to charge the police employee perpetrator
  • no further police action (NFPA) following submission of a brief for insufficient evidence or the complaint was withdrawn by you
  • exonerated - the evidence did not support the allegation.

Authorisation of Criminal Charges

All Victorian initiated criminal charges against Victoria Police employees require authorisation by the Assistant Commissioner, Professional Standards Command. The Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) assists Victoria Police to determine if there is sufficient evidence to recommend or not recommend charging the Victoria Police employee.

If the perpetrator is charged with a criminal offence:

  • you have the right to know what the charges are, the court location and date of the hearing
  • if you are required to go to court, you will receive a witness summons
  • at court you will be treated with respect and the investigator and/or support person will explain the process to you
  • the matter will be prosecuted by a police lawyer or may be referred to the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office (VGSO) for independent legal advice if a conflict of interest is identified.

Police and OPP will consider your preference not to participate in a criminal investigation. You can choose to opt out of the criminal process at any time by making a statement of no complaint, which withdraws your co-operation in the criminal proceedings. You should never be pressured to make a statement of no complaint by police.

Charges are not progressed

If there is insufficient evidence this may result in no person being charged with an offence. If there is insufficient evidence for a criminal charge, Victoria Police may still consider a discipline charge for the alleged offence(s).

When charges are not progressed, you have the right to know why. The investigator should explain this to you and provide written correspondence of the result. Children may also be asked to make a statement and provide evidence.

If you wish to request a case review regarding the outcome you can do this by writing to the officer in charge of the investigating unit and request a case review meeting. Within one month of the request, you should be contacted by a resolution officer to discuss.