Our dedicated and valued Witness Assistance Service (WAS) provides support to vulnerable victims and witnesses involved in matters we are prosecuting. To ensure we provide consistent and appropriate support, CDPP prosecutors are required to refer the following matters to the WAS, where there are:
- identifiable child victims
- victims of slavery, servitude or forced marriage
- any direct family member of a person who has died as a result of an alleged offence, or
- any victim suffering serious physical or psychological harm as a result of an alleged offence.
In addition to the above categories of victims, the WAS also provides support to other victims.
We have a dedicated web‑based service for victims and witnesses of crime. The site provides tailored and timely information, tools and resources to support victims, witnesses and carers through the prosecution process.
The site builds on our understanding that victims and witnesses play a critical role in the prosecution process, and our commitment to ensuring they are treated with respect.
Our Victims of Crime Policy guides and supports victims and witnesses through the prosecution process and we have established effective processes and procedures linked to the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth. In all prosecutions, we treat victims with courtesy, compassion, cultural sensitivity and respect for their dignity and entitlements.
To ensure the continued effectiveness of our WAS program, during this financial year, we had an internal audit undertaken which largely confirmed the effectiveness of the service while making useful business improvement recommendations, many of which we will be adopting.