The Victims of Crime Commissioner is an independent statutory officer who advocates for victims of crime in their dealings with the justice system and government agencies. This means the Commissioner is not part of government or other agencies in the justice system.
The Commissioner operates under the Victims of Crime Commissioner Act 2015 (External link), which empowers her to:
- monitor and report on how agencies meet their legal obligations under the Victims’ Charter
- investigate complaints from victims of crime who believe their rights and entitlements under the Victims’ Charter have not been met by an investigatory body, prosecuting agency and/or victims’ service
- advocate for the respect, recognition and inclusion of victims of crime in the Victorian justice system
- conduct inquiries into systemic issues that affect large numbers or particular groups of victims of crime in Victoria
- represent the concerns of victims of crime to government and other decision-making bodies.
The Commissioner actively advocates for systemic reforms, such as changes to the law, that bring about cultural change and recognise victims’ as participants in the justice system.
What is the Victims’ Charter?
The Victims’ Charter is fundamental to the Commissioner’s work. The Commissioner must consider the Charter when performing all her functions.
The Charter sets out principles for how agencies should treat victims and their family members.
The principles that investigatory, prosecuting and victims’ services agencies must adhere to include:
- treating victims with courtesy, respect and dignity
- having regard to victims who experience disadvantage
- providing information about services, entitlements and assistance
- communicating with and responding to victims in a way that recognises their preferences and needs
- protecting victims’ personal information
- responding to complaints from victims who believe an agency has breached the Victims’ Charter.
In addition to these principles, the Charter also outlines specific obligations for agencies when interacting with victims of crime.
Find out more about the Victims' Charter.
What we can help with
The Commissioner can investigate complaints from victims of crime that relate to an agency’s compliance with the Victims’ Charter principles. This includes agencies that:
- investigate crimes, such as Victoria Police
- prosecute crimes at court, such as the Office of Public Prosecutions
- provide services to victims of crime, such as the Victims Assistance Program.
Find out more about making a complaint.
What we can't help with
- provide direct support to victims of crime (we can, however, provide information and refer you to a victims' support service)
- provide legal advice
- release any information that might lead to the identification of a victim
- change an outcome of a case that has been through the courts, or influence the way that a case will be run
- act in a way that would influence:
- a criminal investigation
- a criminal or civil proceeding in a court or tribunal
- investigations of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) (External link)
- investigations of the Victorian Inspectorate (External link)
- disciplinary proceedings or criminal investigations conducted by members of Victoria Police.
Find out more about Victims' Charter complaints.