Reporting to Police / Character and behaviour of the Applicant
Applicants are encouraged to ensure that issues regarding sections 52 and 54 of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 are considered prior to lodging an application. S52 states that the Tribunal must refuse to make an award of assistance if it is satisfied that the act of violence was not reported to police within a reasonable time or the applicant failed to provide reasonable assistance to police. S54 describes matters to which the Tribunal must have regard when assessing an application for assistance, which includes the character and criminal history of the applicant.
While the material provided to the Tribunal by police will illuminate all of the above issues it only does so well after the application is filed. These issues should be dealt with at the earliest possible stage to ensure that the applicant is not subjected to the work required to support the application when the legislation may prevent or limit the Tribunal from making an award.
Practitioners are advised to seek instructions regarding reporting and character prior to lodging the application for assistance.
Any questions regarding the above please contact VOCAT Toll Free on 1800 882 752