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Policy position

A holistic strategy to help victims report crime

A holistic strategy to help victims report crime.

Victims have told the Victims of Crime Commissioner (VOCC) that:

  • they do not feel safe to report to police
  • the reporting process is not always trauma-informed or accessible
  • victims can receive responses that are belittling, condescending, dismissive and unsupportive when they do try to report to police.

More must be done to build trust in police so that victims feel safe to report crimes and enhanced reporting options and safer environments for reporting are needed.

The VOCC recommends that the Victorian Government commit to a holistic strategy to drive increased reporting of crime and make the process safer when victims do report.

This strategy should include:

  • Victoria Police reviewing its programs, policies and initiatives aimed at engaging with the community and building confidence to report crime, with a particular focus on priority groups which have faced disadvantage and discrimination.
  • Victoria Police ensuring victims have access to appropriate, accessible and private areas to safely disclose a crime such as dedicated victim rooms in police stations.
  • The Victorian Government expanding the work underway to create an online reporting option for sexual assault victims by broadening this option to different crime types and victims who face systemic barriers in reporting to police.

To address systemic barriers to participation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the VOCC recommends the Victorian Government introduce:

  • alternative, culturally safe ways to report crimes

an Aboriginal Social Justice Commissioner to address systemic barriers to participation and improve trust in the justice system.

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