Practice Direction on Police Witnesses

Practice Directions support the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) Rules of Procedure and provide guidance about what the CICB expects of the parties and, in turn, what the parties can expect from the CICB. They assist in understanding the Rules.


Where a crime was reported to the police, the CICB may summons a police officer to provide evidence at a hearing. This usually happens when it appears the CICB will need to decide whether the circumstances of the crime affect the applicant's entitlement to compensation, whether the applicant refused to cooperate with the police or whether the applicant failed to report the crime promptly. See s.17 of the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act.

The CICB will tell the parties if it summons a police officer and why the officer's evidence appears to be relevant.

Police Evidence

The summons tells the officer to bring notes of the police investigation to the hearing. The police witness may refer to the notes when testifying. If, after receiving a summons, the police service files materials and agrees to share those documents before the hearing, the CICB will provide copies of them to the applicant.

A police witness is treated like any other witness who appears before the CICB. If the hearing is closed to the public the police officer will only be in the hearing room when testifying. Even where the hearing is not closed there may be an order excluding witnesses. This means the officer cannot be in the hearing room or told about testimony given by other witnesses until the officer is called to testify.

The officer may be asked about the investigation, the applicant's conduct, the applicant's cooperation with the police, the status of any court proceeding and to explain why no criminal charges were laid or why charges were withdrawn or dismissed.

Usually the officer is questioned by an adjudicator first followed by the parties.

Effective as of June 19, 2018