Information for Victims and Witnesses
We provide a free court support service to any victim or police witness of crime.
We can explain your role and rights as a police witness.
We can be there with you in court...
while you are giving evidence and during any related conferences.
We can assist you to complete a Victim Impact Statement.
We can inform you...
about other support and compensation that may be available to you.
What Can VWCCS Do for Victims and Witnesses of Crime?
VWCCS supports victims and witnesses of crime who are required to testify at court as police witnesses. Our role is to help you through the sometimes daunting process of giving evidence in court so you feel more confident and better informed. We can help demystify court procedures and legal terminology and can be with you in court while you are giving evidence, if you wish us to do so.
VWCCS Court Support Officers (CSO) can:
- Explain to you the role of a police witness and the court process.
- Inform you of your rights under the Charter of Victims Rights.
- Accompany and support you during any conferences relating to the crime.
- Explain legal terminology.
- Liaise with the prosecutor and police.
- Explain to you the serious consequences of contamination of evidence.
- Meet you at court and accompany you to a safe room.
- Be with you, if you wish, whilst you are giving evidence.
- Continue to support and assist you if the matter is adjourned and listed for another hearing date.
- Remain with you if you wish to stay in Court after you have given evidence.
- Explain and, if you wish, assist with your Victim Impact Statement.
- Provide information about services that provide free counselling, compensation and other support.
What Can VWCCS NOT Do?
- Give legal advice.
- Discuss evidence with you before or during the hearing or between breaks or adjournments.
- Assist you to give evidence.
- Take notes in court.
- Speak during the Court hearing unless the Judge or Magistrate asks the volunteer a question.
Top 10 Tips – a VWCCS guide to giving evidence in court (PDF file)
Victims Services (NSW Department of Justice) provides support and information to victims of crime. On this site you can find information about:
- the Charter of Victims Rights
- Financial Support
- the Justice Journey – an excellent guide for victims of crime
- Victim Impact Statements
- Justice Reform Summary Factsheet
- Encouraging Early Guilty Pleas Factsheet
- Stronger Sentencing Factsheet
- Strengthening Parole Factsheet
- Better Management of High Risk Offenders Factsheet
- Consultation Timings Factsheet
Free legal advice through The Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre