What is the role of the Witness Assistance Service?

Our Victims and Witness Assistance Service (WAS) staff have social work backgrounds. The service works closely with prosecutors to make sure victims of crime, and vulnerable witnesses, have access to the following: 

  • general updates concerning the prosecution case
  • information/explanations concerning the legal process and court procedures
  • information concerning policy entitlements and avenues for review or complaint
  • information concerning the role of a witness
  • a consistent point of contact within the CDPP for the duration of the prosecution process
  • support during meetings with prosecutors
  • court familiarisation tours
  • support at court and during the trial
  • referrals to counselling and other services in the community
  • information about Victim Impact Statements.

The work carried out by the WAS and other prosecution staff is guided by the CDPP’s Victims of Crime Policy.

Who does the WAS work with?

The most vulnerable witnesses and victims of crime are referred to the WAS. These include matters involving identifiable child victims of crime, victims of slavery, sexual servitude, and forced marriage offences.

The WAS may help victims of crime involved in prosecutions concerning terrorism, violent and sexual offences that occur on aircraft/at sea, and offences that involve the loss of significant amounts of money.

Prosecutors refer people to the WAS according to the WAS Referral Guidelines.

How do I contact the WAS?

WAS staff are located in the CDPP offices in Sydney (02 9321 1100) and Melbourne (03 9605 4333). However, the WAS is a national resource and provides assistance to witnesses and victims in whichever state or territory you are located. When you phone, tell reception you’d like to speak to someone from the Witness Assistance Service.

Who can I contact if I want to know more about the case I’m involved in?

To get more information about your case, call or email the CDPP prosecutor handling your case. If you don’t know who this is, call the CDPP office in your state or territory and ask to speak to the prosecutor concerned.

You may need to provide further information such as the name of the person charged with the crime to ensure you are put in touch with the right person. 

You can also get answers by contacting the police officer involved in your case, or your WAS support worker if one has been allocated.

  • To get in touch with the prosecutor, call your witness assistance officer or the CDPP office in your state or territory. Make sure you know the name of the accused, as this will help us to identify the correct person you need to speak to.
  • To get in touch with the police officer call your state or territory police headquarters. Usually you will have met the officer, as they will have been involved in the investigation. If you know their name it will be easier to identify who you are looking for.

More information