Are you a victim of crime?

You are a victim of crime if:

  • you have suffered an injury as a direct result of a crime;
  • you are a family member of a person who has died as a direct result of a crime;
  • you are a family member of a minor or a mentally impaired person who has suffered injury as a direct result of a crime;
  • you are a family member of a child who has been groomed.

If you are a family member of a victim of crime, you can expect the OPP to treat you with courtesy, respect and dignity. The OPP must take into account, and be responsive to, your particular needs such as needs relating to race or indigenous background, sex or gender identity, cultural or linguistic diversity, sexual orientation, disability, religion and age. The OPP must also provide you with information about relevant support services, possible entitlements and legal assistance, and if appropriate, referrals to support services.

How will you be treated?

As a victim you can expect the OPP to respect your rights and entitlements as a participant in proceedings for criminal offences.

The OPP will treat you with courtesy, respect and dignity. We will take account, and be responsive to, any particular needs or differences you have such as race or indigenous background, sex or gender identity, cultural or linguistic diversity, sexual orientation, disability, religion and age.

If you are in a regional location we will take into account, and be responsive to, your particular needs.

Communicating with you

When communicating with you the OPP will take into account:

  • whether you wish to be contacted;
  • your preferred contact method; and
  • whether there are any issues which may affect your ability to understand the information being communicated (e.g. requirement of an interpreter).

You can help the OPP communicate effectively with you by:

  • notifying us of any change in your contact details
  • asking questions and providing information
  • letting us know if you need more assistance
  • letting us know if you need an interpreter
  • giving us honest, constructive feedback so we continue to improve.

What information will you be provided with?

Support Services

You can expect the OPP to provide you with clear, timely and consistent information about relevant support services, possible entitlements and legal assistance. Where it is appropriate, the OPP will refer you to the relevant support services and entities that may provide you with access to entitlements and legal assistance.

The Court Process

The OPP must inform you about the court process and your entitlement to attend any relevant court proceedings, unless the court otherwise orders.

If you are a witness, the OPP must ensure that you are informed of the process of a trial or hearing, and you know what your role is as a witness.

You must be informed about special protections and alternative arrangements for giving evidence that may be available to you. The OPP will then inform the court about your preference for how to give evidence.

You must also be informed that you may remain in court after giving evidence (unless the court otherwise orders).

The OPP will also provide you with information regarding the prosecution, as set out below:

Charges

As soon as practical, you must be informed of the offences charged against the accused person.

The OPP must advise you of any decision to:

  • substantially modify those charges; or
  • discontinue the charges; or
  • accept a plea of guilty to a lesser charge.

Bail

Where requested by you, the OPP must ensure you are informed of the outcome of bail applications and any bail conditions (if bail is granted). We will inform you of any condition imposed that is intended to protect you.

Court Dates and Outcomes

The OPP must take all reasonable steps to provide you with the date, time and location of any contested committal hearing, trial, plea hearing, sentencing hearing and appeal hearing. The OPP will keep you informed about the progress of the prosecution, including the outcome of all the main hearings.

Summary Jurisdiction

Unless you cannot be contacted, or it is not practical to do so, the OPP must give you information about the matters taken into account in making decisions to apply for, agree to or oppose an application for summary jurisdiction.

Cross Examination at committal

Cross examination is the detailed questioning of a witness by both the defence and prosecution. Unless you cannot be contacted, or it is not practical to do so, the OPP must give you information about the matters taken into account in making a decision to agree to or oppose an application to cross-examine you at a committal hearing.

Appeal

If an appeal is instituted, the OPP will provide you with information about the fact of the appeal, the grounds of the appeal and the result of the appeal.

Your views

The OPP must seek your views before making any decision to:

  • Substantially modify the charges; or
  • Discontinue the prosecution of the charges; or
  • Accept a plea of guilty to a lesser charge; or
  • Appeal a sentence; or
  • Apply to the Court of Appeal for a retrial after acquittal.

However, if we cannot contact you after all reasonable attempts are made or it is not practical to contact you given the speed or nature of the proceedings, we do not have to seek your views before making one of the above decisions.

Reasons for decisions

The OPP must provide you with reasons for any decision to:

  • substantially modify the charges; or
  • discontinue a prosecution; or
  • accept a plea of guilty to a lesser charge.

However, we may decline to give those reasons if doing so might jeopardise any investigation of a criminal offence or prejudice any other proceedings.

Victim Impact Statements

If you wish to make a Victim Impact Statement, the OPP must refer you to an appropriate victims’ service agency for assistance in preparing your Victim Impact Statement. We must also give you general information about the types of material that the Court might disallow and the consequences of such a ruling.

Contact between you and the accused

So far as possible we will minimise your exposure to unnecessary contact with or intimidation from the accused person (including their supporters and family members) during the court proceedings.

Your privacy

We will not disclose any of your personal information, including your address or telephone number, except in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

Your property

To have your property that is held for investigation or evidence stored and handled in a lawful, respectful and secure manner and, in consultation with you, returned as soon as possible.

Compensation

You can request that the court order the offender to pay you compensation if you are the victim of a violent crime. You may also apply for financial assistance from the Government for harm resulting from a violent crime. Click here for more information. If you are interested in applying for financial assistance we can direct you to other services for further assistance.

Victims Register

The Victims Register can give you information about the offender who was sent to prison for a violent crime. You can apply to be included on the Victims Register if an adult offender is sent to prison for a violent crime against you. You will receive specific information regarding the release of the offender, and have your views taken into account by the parole board when any decision about parole of the offender is being considered.

More about Victims