Victim Notification - the Victim Safety Unit
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If you are a victim of crime in British Columbia, you can register for the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s victim notification service.
Victim Safety Unit
This Victim Safety Unit provides victims with information about the accused or offender. Once you register, the unit gives ongoing information to victims while an accused or offender is in the community (on bail or probation) and in custody. The type of information you may receive will depend on your situation. The Victim Safety Unit will go over this with you when you register.
You can register at any time but you should register as soon as possible, especially if you have significant safety concerns. You do not have to wait for a conviction.
How to Register
To register for the victim notification service, you will need to contact the Victim Safety Unit. You can register with them by providing your name and contact information. You can apply by:
- Calling the Victim Safety Unit at 1-877-315-8822, free of charge anywhere in Canada to register by phone
- Completing the Victim Safety Unit - Notification Application Form on page two of the Help Starts Here, Victim Notification information sheet. Then mail or fax your completed form to the Victim Safety Unit. The address and fax number is provided on the application form.
If you would like information about an offender who is in a federal correctional centre, the Victim Safety Unit will send your form to the Correctional Service of Canada, Victim Services and the Parole Board of Canada so you continue to receive notification.
Information You May Receive
The Victims of Crime Act states the information you may be able to receive as a victim. For example, it may include:
- The area in B.C. in which the accused or offender may be living
- If the accused/offender has to stay away from you (if you are named in a protection order)
- Court dates and what happens at court
- Whether the accused or offender is in the community or in custody
- If they are out in the community, what conditions they must follow
- If they are in custody, the name and address of the correctional centre
- If the offender is in jail, the release date, length of their release and conditions the offender must follow when they get out of jail
- Their probation officer’s name and location.
If you are not a victim of crime, but you still have very serious safety concerns, you may be able to receive information about when the offender will be released from jail.
Offender in Federal Custody (Sentence of Two Years or More)
An offender sent to jail for two or more years will be in a federal Correctional Service of Canada jail. The service and Parole Board of Canada notify registered victims of offenders under federal jurisdiction.
To receive information about an offender in a federal jail, the Victim Safety Unit can forward your application to the Correctional Service of Canada and Parole Board of Canada. If you would like to contact either agency directly, please visit their websites for contact information:
The Correctional Service of Canada has a team dedicated to victim services. As a victim of crime or their family member, you can register with their victim services team to be kept up to date on what happens with the offender during their sentence. These officers will also address any safety concerns you may have.
The Correctional Service of Canada will take information provided by the victim into consideration when making decisions about an offender’s suitability for temporary releases, programs designed for offenders and security or risk levels that should be applied to the offender.