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Support person 

Support person for a victim making a statement to the police

A support person in the context of reporting crime to police is someone that a person may choose, including a friend or family member, to be with them when making a statement.      

If the victim is a vulnerable person (child or person with a cognitive disability) then the police are required to arrange for an appropriate support person to assist the victim when making a statement. This can be someone the victim chooses or consents to. A support person supporting a vulnerable person must be:

  • Aged 18 years or over

  • Meet the requirements of clause 26 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Regulation 2005.

  • Understand their role with respect to the vulnerable person and the functions the legislation intends them to perform.

Support person for a witness in a court case

A court support person assists and supports the person who is a victim of crime when that person is a witness in a court hearing. The support person's role is to help the witness before and during the hearing. For example to accompany the witness, give emotional and psychological support, reassure the witness and explain what is happening.      

The witness chooses their support person. A support person can be a friend or a family member of the witness, or a professional counsellor or a person from a witness support group.

Sometimes in court the defence lawyer might object to the choice of support person and it is then up to the Judge to decide.      

The witness may have one or more support persons, for example, a family member and a professional counsellor.      

A support person cannot be someone who is going to give evidence in the case.      

See also

Information for court support people
Help and Support > Victims of crime generally > Court support