Other legal stuff you might need to know

Victims Support Scheme NSW

If you have been a victim of a violent crime, including sexual assault, you can seek legal advice about whether you may be eligible to access the Victims Support Scheme. The Scheme includes:

  • Information, referrals and advice;
  • Counselling;
  • Financial assistance for immediate needs;
  • Financial assistance for economic loss;
  • Recognition payments to acknowledge the trauma you have suffered.
Time limits for payments!!

Some time limits apply for financial assistance and recognition payments. For some payment types, you need to apply within 2 years after the violence occurred or, if you were a child, within 2 years of turning 18 years old. For other payment types there may be a longer period of time to claim. Call Victims Services for full information.

For more information contact a free legal service provider or Victims Services.

Victims’ Rights

At all times during the investigation, police are obliged to comply with the Charter of Victims Rights, including that the victim:

  • Be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect;
  • Be given information about any prosecution, including details about charges, court appearances, bail conditions, ;
  • Be provided information about, and access to, welfare, health and counselling services;
  • Be given privacy and protection; and
  • Be provided with information about the criminal justice system

Complaints about lawyers, judges and police

Lawyers

If you think a lawyer has not done their job advising, acting for or representing you, then you can:

  • Bring the issue to their attention by writing down what you think they have done and see if they can make it right; or
  • If this fails then a complaint can be made within 3 years of the incident to the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC), who may investigate the lawyer’s behaviour on your behalf.

Judges

If you think a judge has not done the right thing, there are only limited ways to make a complaint. You could:

  • Ask the prosecutor at the DPP about the possibility of an appeal if it is an issue with the decision made by the judge; or
  • Make a written complaint which can be lodged with the Judicial Commission of NSW for complaints about the ability and behaviour of judges.

Police

If you think you may have a complaint about a NSW police officer, try to resolve it first by speaking to the duty officer or officer in charge at the local police station.

If that doesn’t work, you can complain in writing. Here is what to include:

  • Your name and contact details;
  • A detailed description of the matter being reported (including Event number if known);
  • The date, time and location of the incident;
  • The names of people involved, or who could otherwise help police to resolve your complaint;
  • The names (if known) of the NSW police officers involved;
  • Details of any documents, records, witnesses etc, that may assist in the resolution of your complaint;
  • What you expect the NSW police to do about your concern; and
  • Any other information you consider

You can send the complaint to the Local Area Commander and if it remains unresolved you can also send it to the NSW Ombudsman to investigate.

Generally police complaints should be made within 12 months of the incident you are complaining about.

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