The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) recognises the central role that victims of crime play in the prosecution process and the trauma that victims and their families can experience because of criminal offending.
As part of the ODPP, Witness Assistance Officers provide trauma informed support for victims who may need assistance to participate in the prosecution process due to the impact of the offending, their age, or other personal circumstances.
The Witness Assistance Team (WAT) can provide support in metropolitan Adelaide, as well as regional and remote areas, including Port Augusta, the Riverland and Mount Gambier.
Witness Assistance Officers
Witness Assistance Officers work alongside our legal staff to support the prosecution process, including by:
- assisting victims and their families to understand information about legal processes and providing practical support so that they can participate in the criminal justice system to the best of their ability.
- informing victims of their rights, as well as their responsibilities as witnesses, so that they can give their best evidence in court.
- facilitating referrals to appropriate community-based support services which may assist people to engage with the prosecution process and manage the impact of offending.
- providing updates as the matter progresses through the criminal justice system and helping victims and their families to understand the role of the DPP.
Making a Referral
The WAT allocates referrals on a priority basis. Referrals to the WAT come from a number of sources, including:
- solicitors and prosecutors within the ODPP
- a member of the police or other government agencies
- external agencies and non-government services.
You can also make a referral yourself if you are a victim or witness.
To make a referral, please contact the Duty Witness Assistance Officer on (08) 8207 1529.
After the WAT receives a referral, a Witness Assistance Officer will make contact to determine the support and involvement required.