In Focus
Family violence statistics

Nearly 13 per cent of criminal prosecutions received by the OPP over the past year have involved family violence.
 

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Financial assistance brochure for victims

A booklet explaining to victims their rights and entitlements to financial assistance, compensation and restitution has been developed by the OPP's Victims Strategy and Services (VSS) directorate.

 

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John Champion - Director of Public Prosecutions

This edition of The Prosecutor has a focus on our efforts to combat serious and organised crime through Proceeds of Crime legislation. 

Under the Public Prosecutions Act, the DPP is empowered to institute proceedings on applications under the Confiscations Act 1997, to disrupt criminal networks and deter involvement in serious and organised crime by taking the profit out of crime.

Also:

  • Guideline judgment sought
  • Implications for Crown submissions on sentencing
  • Inaugural conference for external barristers
  • DPP v Fucile and Tran
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Craig Hyland - Solicitor for Public Prosecutions

The significant role the OPP has in confiscating millions of dollars in proceeds of crime is growing and expanding following the doubling of funding for this field of work in this year's State budget.

Our Proceeds of Crime budget was doubled to $12.6 million over four years, ongoing, enabling us to recruit more solicitors with expertise in civil litigation.

Also:

  • The OPP's new strategic plan
  • Depositions go electronic
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Bitcoin first for Victoria

Victoria is believed to be the first Australian jurisdiction to restrain "bitcoins" under the Confiscation Act 1997, following a restraining order obtained by the OPP's Proceeds of Crime unit for bitcoins presently worth more than $20 million.

Bitcoin is a digital currency with no central issuing authority that can be bought and sold with cash through bitcoin exchanges.

 

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Chasing the money trail
Federal agent Chris Douglas presented the two-day workshop.

The sophisticated measures used by criminals to legitimise proceeds of crime were detailed over a two-day workshop presented to OPP staff by Federal Agent Chris Douglas.

OPP Proceeds of Crime manager Damian Martin said workshop participants were enlightened about the complexities inherent in money laundering and how to follow the elusive money trial.

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Strong prosecution outcomes

The scale of criminal prosecutions work undertaken by the Office of Public Prosecutions is demonstrated in the  OPP Annual Report 2012/13.

Interesting statistics from the annual report include that 116 homicide matters were received by the OPP in 2012/13, 60 culpable driving matters were received, and 449 trials were conducted with a conviction rate of 58 per cent at trial.

 

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Regional prosecution trends

Since the OPP's Regional Prosecutions was restructured four years ago, statistics show a trend towards more matters being resolved as pleas and fewer trials across regional Victoria.

Regional Prosecutions was restructured in November 2009, with three independent regional units brought together under the one directorate.

Directorate manager Suzette Dootjes said the restructure had allowed for flexibility of resources to be moved around the regional courts and for a greater focus on early file ownership and preparation of cases.

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International visitors

The OPP hosted a delegation of prosecutors from the People's Procuratorate of Tianjin Municipality of China in October who wanted to learn about Victoria's public prosecutions service.

Legal Practice Manager Stuart Ward led a discussion about the structure, history and accountability of Victoria's public prosecutions service, the OPP's role in the criminal justice system, the key features of  Victoria's criminal justice system and the criminal court hierarchy.

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