If you have been the victim of a crime and decide to report it to the police, it is important that you understand the steps that come next and how to receive the support you need.

When you report a crime to the police, they will take information about the offence and the crime will be recorded. You will be given a crime reference number, and you may be asked to provide a statement.

Further information is provided in the ‘Giving a witness statement to the police - what happens next?‘ leaflet.

This Victims of Crime leaflet produced by the Ministry of Justice details what  you can expect from the criminal justice system. It also contains information about organisations that you can contact for free advice, practical information or emotional support.

The police will give you information about what to expect from the criminal justice system, including information about the Victims’ Code. The Victims’ Code sets out the services you can expect from the criminal justice agencies. 

The police will conduct a “needs assessment” and will ask you questions to establish what help and support you might need.

You will also be given the chance to make a Victim Personal Statement detailing how you have been affected.

Criminal Charges

In some cases if someone is arrested and charged, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will decide whether to prosecute or not and whether to take your case to court. Find out more about Going to Court.

Find out more about the CPS on their website or call 0203 357 0000.

If no crime is reported

Anyone affected by crime and anti-social behaviour, regardless of whether or not they choose to report this to the police, is able to access free independent advice and emotional support through this website.

If a victim does not wish to speak to the police, they can approach the agencies on this site, without having to report a crime.


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