Having a violent crime happen to you or a loved one can be very upsetting and disruptive, and sometimes the effects may be felt for a long time after the crime occurs.
Particularly if someone is hurt, it can be difficult to know what to do – but you do not have to deal with it alone.
The Victims of Crime Helpline can provide advice and connect you with services or you can use this website to learn more about the justice system in Victoria and what to do next.
What is robbery?
A robbery occurs when a person uses violence or the threat of violence to take another person’s property.
As part of the robbery, a physical assault may occur.
Charges related to robbery
Depending on the circumstances, an accused person may be charged with different offences such as:
- robbery or armed robbery (if a weapon is used)
- common, aggravated and more serious assault (also called physical assault)
- causing injury or serious injury.
Related offences are:
Free support across Victoria
The Victims of Crime Helpline 1800 819 817 is available every day (8am to 11pm) to provide advice and support to anyone in Victoria who has experienced a robbery.
The helpline can also help people who are experiencing difficulty and need support after being a witness to a violent crime.
When you contact the helpline, a Victims Support Officer can discuss your situation with you and advise on assistance and support services you can access.
The helpline may also be able to organise a support worker from the Victims Assistance Program who can:
- organise counselling, transport and medical services
- help you communicate with police
- assist with managing disruptions to work and study by letting people know what has happened
- assist with applying for financial assistance
- provide options for managing your home and personal security, if they have been affected by the crime.
Please note: You may be eligible for financial assistance for the violence against you. However, the Victorian government does not provide financial assistance for property lost due to robbery.
You can learn more about options to recover costs due to property loss in the section called 'Seeking compensation/return of your property' further down this page.
Understanding the traumatic effects of crime
Aside from the physical injuries that may result because of violence, experiencing a crime (or having a loved one affected by a crime) can be frightening and traumatic.
Witnesses who see someone hurt can also be deeply affected, even if they do not know the victim.
Everyone's response is different, but it can be helpful to understand the common feelings and physical reactions people have and what to expect.
On this website, you can learn more about:
- common emotional and physical reactions to stressful events like crimes
- suggestions to help you with recovery
- how to best support a family member or friend
- how to help a child who has been affected by crime.
Whether it is just after the crime or you are dealing with ongoing effects on your health and wellbeing, counselling is available. The Victims of Crime Helpline 1800 819 817 can connect you to services that can help.
Help to understand the justice process
The Victims of Crime Helpline can answer your questions about:
- the justice process and what to expect
- getting information about the court case
- giving evidence as a witness and support that is available for you if you need to go to court
- preparing a Victim Impact Statement to tell the court how the crime affected you
- getting information from the Victims Register about the offender if they are sentenced to prison.
You can learn more about robbery and the justice process below.
Report a robbery
If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime is currently occurring, please call police on Triple Zero (000). You can also go to your local police station to report a crime.
You can also contact your local police station to report non-urgent situations such as:
- a robbery that happened in the past
- threats of harm where there is no immediate danger.
You can learn more about reporting a crime to police.
What will happen if a robbery is reported?
When a crime such as a robbery is reported to police, they can:
- deal with any immediate danger of someone being hurt or further injured
- call medical or other services to treat any injuries victims may have
- secure the location (if that is appropriate) to make sure it is safe and to collect evidence
- investigate what happened
- try to locate your missing property and return it to if it is possible.
Evidence that may be needed
As a victim or witness, you may be asked to give a detailed statement about what happened.
The police may also ask for your cooperation to collect evidence. This can include:
- medical records and photographs of injuries you sustained
- a list and description of any property that was taken during the robbery
- photographs and other evidence from the location at which the crime happened
- clothing or other items you had with you that may help to show what happened.
If someone is charged
If an accused person is found by the police, they may be charged and the justice process will start.
This website explains the justice process in Victoria. You can learn about:
- police investigations
- how charges are laid
- what happens when a case goes to court
- what you need to do if you have to go to court
- what happens if an accused person is found guilty.
Seeking compensation/return of your property
The Victorian government does not provide financial assistance for property lost because of robbery. You may be entitled to apply for financial assistance from the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) for any physical or mental harm you suffer during the crime.
You may be able to:
If you have an insurance policy covering your property, you may be able to make a claim for the cost of replacing it. You may need a copy of the crime report from the police to do this. Contact your insurance company for more information.
Seek the return of your property or compensation directly from the offender
If a person is charged with taking your possessions and/or damaging your property, you may be able to apply for a court order to make the offender:
- return your stolen possessions
- pay you for what any lost or sold property is worth.
You can learn more about seeking compensation from an offender.
Counselling and crisis support services
24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Mental health care plan – see your General Practitioner
If you need assistance, you can see a General Practitioner and discuss your situation. You may be eligible for a mental health care plan that will assist with the cost of counselling.
Victoria Legal Aid
Victoria Legal Aid’s (VLA) Legal Help service provides free general legal information over the phone and by chat online.
Victoria’s health and safety regulator and manager of Victoria’s workers compensation scheme (WorkCover). If the robbery happened while you were performing work duties, you may be entitled to make a claim.