Inquiry into Victoria’s Criminal Justice System

Victim Support

Victims of Crime Helpline

1800 819 817 (7 days, 8am-11pm)

The Victims Support Agency (VSA) is the official state government agency that helps people in Victoria to manage the effects of violent crime, including family violence, physical assault and sexual assault.

The VSA provides support through the Victims of Crime Helpline, which proved advice and support and is the first step for victims of crime to access free services in Victoria. The helpline links victims to services to provide them with access to personalised, timely and appropriate support to manage and recover from the effects of crime.

The VSA funds a network of Victim Assistance and Counselling Programs (VACPs) throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria.

Victims of crime are assigned a case manager and are eligible to receive practical assistance, outreach, advice about the process of reporting to police court support, and referral to other agencies. They can link people to support groups and locate services such as private solicitors or legal aid and refer eligible victims to therapeutic interventions including counselling.

Child Protection Service — emergency reporting

To make a report to child protection a person needs to have formed a reasonable belief that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect, and that their parent has not protected or is unlikely to protect the child from harm of that type. A reasonable belief does not require proof.

For immediate help:

  • To report concerns that are life threatening, ring Victoria Police: 000
  • To report concerns about the immediate safety of a child after hours, call the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service: 13 12 78.

Further information is available on the DHHS child protection webpage

Where concerns relate to an alleged perpetrator of abuse, who may pose a risk more generally to all children, the concerns should be reported to Police.

Crime Stoppers

1800 333 000

Crime Stoppers is an information receiving service for people who want to share what they know about unsolved crimes and suspicious activity without saying who they are.

Crime Stoppers can be contacted via their hotline or online. People who contact Crime Stoppers won’t be asked to say who they are. When someone contacts Crime Stoppers, trained call-takers capture the information that is shared with them. It is then sent it to police for investigation and follow-up where needed.

Calls and online contacts to Crime Stoppers are not traced or identified in any way.

Terms of Reference

On 3 June 2020, the Legislative Council agreed to the following motion:

That this House requires the Legal and Social Issues Committee to inquire into, consider and report, by no later than 28 February 2022, on various issues associated with the operation of Victoria’s justice system, including, but not limited to —

(1) an analysis of factors influencing Victoria’s growing remand and prison populations;

(2) strategies to reduce rates of criminal recidivism;

(3) an examination of how to ensure that judges and magistrates have appropriate knowledge and expertise when sentencing and dealing with offenders, including an understanding of recidivism and the causes of crime; and

(4) the consideration of judicial appointment processes in other jurisdictions, specifically noting the particular skill-set necessary for judges and magistrates overseeing specialist courts.

pdfTerms of Reference - Inquiry into Victoria's Justice System128.14 KB

Government Response

The Government is required to respond within six months of the report being tabled. Once the response is received, it will be available for download here.