09 November 2016

Guilty outcomes at a record high: OPP Annual Report

About 90 per cent of serious criminal matters prosecuted by the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) in 2015/16 resulted in a guilty outcome according to the OPP’s annual report tabled in State Parliament yesterday.

The 2015/16 OPP Annual Report reveals:

  • A record 89.6 per cent of all matters were finalised through guilty pleas or guilty verdicts at trial
  • 77 per cent of all matters were finalised as guilty pleas
  • The number of acquittals has steadily decreased to 118
  • The Witness Assistance Service provided 1,753 professional consultations to victims and witnesses
  • Briefs prepared and hearings attended were at an all-time high of 72,610.

Solicitor for Public Prosecutions John Cain said the OPP’s performance, as measured by case outcomes, continued to be strong during a particularly busy period for the Office.

“In 2015/16 we again finalised a high proportion of matters as guilty pleas, which is important as it not only achieves fair and just outcomes but saves the criminal justice system, and the community, resources in trial preparation and court time,” Mr Cain said.

“The OPP also completed two major projects in this period – a Legal Practice Review and a major modernisation of the OPP’s Melbourne office.

“The $12.9 million refurbishment of our Melbourne office enabled us to bring together all Melbourne OPP staff into the one building, improving collaboration and cooperation between divisions.

“The new structure provides the best opportunity for the OPP to efficiently manage the 2,700-plus new indictable matters referred to the Office each year.”

In his report, Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion S.C. said he supports the aims of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse towards protecting vulnerable children and improving responses to allegations of child sexual abuse, and welcomes the opportunity to contribute to its important work.

“The Commission has required a significant contribution by the OPP and my office in terms of responding to subpoenas and appearances before it,” Mr Champion said.

“In the 2015/16 period I travelled to Sydney to appear at private and public roundtable hearings with other Australian DPPs, and gave evidence about the use of tendency and coincidence reasoning at a week-long hearing involving case studies from around Australia.”

Together with the DPP and Crown Prosecutors, the OPP is responsible for prosecuting the most serious criminal matters in Victoria on behalf of the community.

Crimes prosecuted include homicide, culpable driving, armed robbery, drug trafficking, serious sex offences, corruption, fraud, organised crime and serious assaults.

View the Annual Report.

For further information contact:

Anthony Loncaric
03 9603 2603