Reporting the crime
If you are a victim of a crime, you may want to report it to the police. It is completely natural to feel worried about what will happen if you do. Perhaps you think the police will not care or that they will view the crime as too trivial. But the police deal with all sorts of crime everyday.
If you don't want to report the crime, you can still get support and help from Victim Support. Our service is confidential, and we will not tell the police what you say to us. We know how important it is to have access to support, reassurance and help and you can talk to us about any of your concerns about reporting a crime. There are also other organisations that can support you through the various stages once a crime is taken on board by the criminal justice system.
And if you are concerned about the idea of giving evidence in court, our Witness Service is on hand throughout to support you.
You can report the crime in different ways.
- If it's an emergency and the crime is still taking place, call 999 and ask for the police.
- If it's not an emergency, do not call 999 as this could hold up genuine emergency calls. This does not mean the crime is not important - it just helps the police to prioritise their resources. Many police forces have a non-emergency number, so you can call that instead.
- You can also drop in at your local police station and report the crime there. You can find the address and telephone number in the local telephone directory.
- You can report some types of minor crime online at www.online.police.uk if you want. It will also give details of how to contact your local police force.
- You can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you want to remain anonymous.
- If you are a victim of hate crime such as racial incidents, domestic violence or crimes against lesbians or gay men, you can contact independent reporting centres in some parts of the country. You can report the crime anonymously and the centre staff will pass on information to the police.
If you are a victim of violent crime and want to make a claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation, the rules of the compensation scheme require you to have reported the crime as soon as possible.
- Non-emergency minor crime notification on www.online.police.uk website
- Victims' walkthrough website - contains more information about how to report a crime and other stages of the criminal justice process