The Victims of Crime Commissioner (VoCC) can:
- advocate for the recognition, inclusion, participation and respect of victims of crime by government departments, Victoria Police and agencies responsible for conducting criminal prosecutions
- inquire into issues that victims may experience with the processes of government departments, agencies, victims service providers and the justice system
- report to the Attorney-General on issues that are likely to be ongoing and apply to many victims of crime
- advise the Attorney-General and government bodies on improving the justice system to meet victims’ needs.
What is a victim of crime?
The full legal definition of ‘victim of crime’ is complex. This office can only assist victims of violent crime, described as:
- a person or persons who are injured or die because of a violent crime
- a person or persons who are injured by witnessing or becoming aware of a violent crime, or
- the family members or persons in an intimate personal relationship with those who die due to violent crime.
It is important to note that ‘injury’ is not limited to bodily harm, but may also include a mental illness, disorder, or exacerbation of a mental illness or disorder.
For a complete legal definition of ‘victim of crime’, see The Victims of Crime Assistance Act (Vic) 1996.
What types of victims issues can we look into? (Systematic victims of crime issues)
The VoCC’s main role is to inquire into and report on ‘systemic’ victims of crime issues. This means we can look into issues that are likely to be:
- ongoing, and
- affect many victims.
The only issues we can look into relate to government departments or agencies, victims service providers or the justice system.
Before you report an issue to the VoCC
Before making a complaint, you should try to resolve your concerns directly with the service provider.
The following courts and criminal justice agencies have feedback/complaint forms that you can access online:
Supreme Court, County Court and Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
All complaints about the conduct or delay relating to a case (but not a complaint about the actual decision in the case) should be directed to the Judicial Commission of Victoria. The Judicial Commission of Victoria is an independent body established to investigate complaints about judicial officers and VCAT members. Click on this link for more information https://www.judicialcommission.vic.gov.au/
- Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal - complaints
- Victoria Police - compliments and complaints against police
Reporting a victims issue to the VoCC