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Victims guidelines

The State of Western Australia recognises the rights of victims of crime through an act of Parliament. The Victims of Crime Act 1994 offers 12 guidelines to protect and support victims through this difficult time.

1. All victims should be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect

The police, court officials, hospital staff and other agencies that deal with victims should treat them with respect and understanding. You have the right to ask any WA agency you deal with for information, advice and support, and feel comfortable throughout all proceedings.

2. Victims should have access to counselling

As a victim of crime, you should have access to counselling and advice about the medical and legal assistance, welfare services available to you and criminal injuries compensation you can apply for.

3. Protection by law

Victims should be informed about what protection the law can offer against violence and intimidation by the offender.

4. Inconvenience to victims should be minimised

The process to resolve cases may be long and complex and may involve investigations, charges, a trial, sentencing and an appeal.

Some inconvenience is inevitable, but victims should expect it to be kept to a minimum. Wherever possible, victims’ needs should be addressed by the Government agency concerned.

5. Privacy of victims is protected

At this vulnerable time, it is vital that the privacy of victims is protected as they deal with Government agencies and staff.

Where appropriate, you should identify yourself as a victim and ask for the service that will make you feel more comfortable. For example, victims have the right to have discussions in a private interview room.

6. Staying informed as a victim

As a victim of crime, you can request to be kept informed about:

  1. the progress of the investigation into the offence (unless the police believe that to provide that information would jeopardise the investigation)
  2. charges laid
  3. any bail application made by the accused person
  4. variations to the charges and the reasons for variations.

7. Staying informed as a witness

As a victim who is also a witness in the trial of the offender, you should be informed about the trial process and your role as a witness in the prosecution of the offence.

Detailed information about the trial process and witness preparation is available on this web site.

8. Sentence and appeals

As a victim, you can ask to be informed about any sentence or order imposed on the offender, as a result of the trial and about any appeal and the result of any appeal.

9. Return of Property

A victim's property held by the State or the police for the purposes of investigation or evidence should be returned as soon as possible.

10. Supervised release

Arrangements should be made so that a victim's views and concerns can be considered when a decision is being made about whether or not to release the offender from custody (except at the end of a term of imprisonment).

11. Offender release

As a victim, you can ask to be informed about the impending release of the offender from custody and about the Community Justice Centre branch where the offender has to report.

You can arrange to be informed of these matters by contacting the Victim Notification Registry.

12. Offender escape

As a victim, you can ask to be informed of any escape from custody by the offender.

You can arrange to be informed of these matters by contacting the Victim Notification Registry.

If you believe that you have not been treated in accordance with these guidelines, you have the right to complain to any of the Government agencies that acted inappropriately.

The Ombudsman is an independent and impartial person who investigates complaints about Western Australian Government departments, statutory authorities and local governments. It is a free service.

Contact the Western Australian Ombudsman on (08) 9220 7555 or Freecall 1800 117 000.


Last updated: 23-Jul-2019

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