Date published 09 August 2019
Last modified 20 September 2019

Witness protection

The CCC is the only independent commission in Australasia with responsibility for the state’s witness protection program. Elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand, witness protection programs are managed by state and territory police forces.

The value of evidence provided by victims of crime, innocent bystanders to a crime, and people who have information about criminal or corrupt activity (often because they are themselves associated with crime or corruption) cannot be overstated. The importance of protecting people who are at risk as a result of assisting law enforcement agencies is recognised worldwide. Without it, certain evidence would not be available to the courts, with some offenders avoiding conviction and the possibility of a person being wrongly convicted.

A person does not have to be a witness in a court of law to qualify for witness protection. Anyone who has put themselves and their families or associates in danger by helping a law enforcement agency may be eligible for protection.

The CCC administers the Witness Protection Program under the Witness Protection Act 2000. Applications for protection generally come to the CCC on behalf of a witness from a law enforcement agency that can verify the risk they face.

The CCC undertakes activities related to personal protection, court security, video evidence management, secure relocation, management of welfare needs and identity changes.

The sensitivities related to witness protection mean that we do not make any further information public about the program.

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