18 September 2017

OPP launches a new website for victims and witnesses

The Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) has launched a new website to help victims, witnesses and bereaved family members navigate the Victorian criminal justice system.

The website, which was launched today by Attorney-General the Hon. Martin Pakula MP, is part of the OPP’s broader commitment to better communicating with victims of crime throughout the prosecution process.

Solicitor for Public Prosecutions John Cain said the website is a great tool for victims, witnesses and bereaved family members as it provides detailed information on the court process and support services available.

“This standalone website has been tailored for the needs of victims, is easy to navigate and is mobile and tablet friendly,” Mr Cain said.

“The website was developed and tested with victims that our solicitors and social workers interact with in their daily work.”

Mr Cain said the OPP was able to develop the website after receiving an additional $18.9 million over two years in the 2017/18 State Budget to strengthen prosecution services and provide better support to victims and witnesses before and during criminal trials. The website forms one component of a broader program of work currently underway.

Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion S.C. said he was pleased the site was developed in direct consultation with victims of crime.

“I had the pleasure of meeting the victim members of the Victims of Crime Consultative Committee (VOCCC) who came into the offices of the Victorian public prosecution service to provide us with feedback on the new website,” Mr Champion said.

“One important point they communicated to us was that being told something once did not mean they had heard it. It can take time for victims to process the often complex information about how prosecution works and the various factors at play.

“This website provides victims, witnesses and bereaved family members with a resource they can access at any time and on any device.”

VOCCC member Jennifer Debnam-Williams said the victim representatives of her group appreciated being able to help other victims of crime by using their own painful experiences to provide the OPP with practical feedback on their new Victim’s Website.

“This website gives victims of crime the proper information they need and a better understanding of the OPP’s role in assisting them through the justice system,” Ms Debnam-Williams said.

The new website is also the home of a new OPP Service and Communication Charter for victims. The charter represents a commitment by the OPP to ensuring Victims of crime are prepared for, and feel involved in, the prosecution process and to treating victims with courtesy, respect, dignity and sensitivity.

The new website can be accessed at: victimsandwitnesses.opp.vic.gov.au

For further information contact:

Anthony Loncaric

03 9603 2603