Rights of Victims and Witnesses of Crime

Crime Matters

Thank you for discharging your civic duties. In addition to the information provided in this notice, please ask for a copy of the "Victim of Crime Charter" which provides further useful information to you. As a victim or witness of crime you have the right to:-

  1. be treated with courtesy, compassion, sensitivity and respect for your personal dignity and privacy;

  2. so far as practicable, be interviewed by police at a place and time convenient to you ;

  3. be accompanied by your legal representative during an interview with the police;

  4. receive prompt medical attention in respect of injuries sustained in the commission of a crime, or should you feel unwell;

  5. obtain refreshments at your own expense;

  6. keep certain particulars unconnected to the investigation confidential, and have data provided to police handled in accordance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance;

  7. automatically be interviewed by an officer of the same sex in all cases of a sexual nature;

  8. request consideration of the use of a one-way viewing facility at an identification parade;

  9. request a copy of any written statement you have made to police (or video tape recording of your interview where applicable);

  10. be given a Crime Investigation Unit Contact Card containing the office telephone number of the responsible officer of the case;

  11. have property belonging to you returned to you at the earliest opportunity once not required in connection with the investigation;

  12. be informed of police and court procedures should you request such information, and be informed of the progress and result of the investigation expeditiously;

  13. be informed of your role in, and the procedures of, the prosecution process;

  14. be informed of the date and location of any subsequent court hearing;

  15. be provided with protective measures by the police in accordance with their evaluation of any threat, and be considered for inclusion in the Witness Protection Programme, should you so wish;

  16. be advised of appropriate agencies which may be able to assist you, such as the Social Welfare Department, the Legal Aid Department and the Consumer Council;

  17. juveniles (persons aged under 16) and mentally incapacitated persons will normally be interviewed in the presence of a parent, guardian or other appropriate adults, except if a delay would cause undue hindrance to the furtherance of justice or might cause harm to others; and

  18. mentally incapacitated persons as well as child witnesses of cases of sexual abuse, cruelty, assault or a threat of injury to others, may:
  • request consideration be given for their interviews video recorded for the purpose of tendering as evidence in court or may give evidence through live television link during the court trial; and
  • be accompanied by a support person when giving evidence in court, providing that person is not involved in the case.

Furthermore, you are advised that:

  • the taking of prosecution proceedings, or a decision not to prosecute an offender, does not usually constitute a bar to subsequent civil action against the offender;
  • any criminal conviction you have must, by law, be divulged to the defence;
  • information concerning the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and Legal Advice is available from the Duty Officer of any police station;
  • if you are required to attend court to give evidence a Witness Allowance may be payable to you. You may make enquiries of this with the officer-in-charge-of-the-case; and
  • if you change your address or contact telephone number prior to being informed by police the case is concluded, you should inform the officer-in-charge-of-the-case as soon as possible.