A person who is suspected of committing a criminal offence can be arrested, prosecuted and punished. In this process, the person may also be made subject to additional conditions while in the community. People on bail or offenders on parole must comply with certain conditions. Similarly, offenders who receive a community-based sentence, or who are suspected or convicted of certain sex offences, are also subject to conditions, the purpose of which is usually to protect the community by reducing the risk of offenders committing further crimes.
In recent years in Victoria, there has been an increasing trend to render non-compliance with these conditions criminal offences. In addition to possibly having their bail revoked, having their parole cancelled or being resentenced, offenders who do not comply with most court-ordered conditions can now also have their non-compliance separately punished as a discrete offence.
The Council has termed this category of offences ‘secondary offences’ because they arise secondarily to a person’s primary involvement in the criminal justice system through the commission, or alleged commission, of a substantive offence.
The Council has identified 20 secondary offences that were in effect between 2011–12 and 2015–16 (the data period for this report). These offences have been assigned into four categories: bail-related secondary offences, sentence-related secondary offences, a parole-related secondary offence and sex offender secondary offences (secondary offences that only apply to persons suspected or convicted of certain sex offences).
This report presents statistics on the number of secondary offences throughout the data period and sentencing outcomes for those offences.