Reporting a Crime: Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when I report a crime?
Your report will be assessed to decide the best course of action. It may be resolved over the phone or may need further investigation, or the benefit of specialist knowledge before it can be resolved. When you report your crime you will be told if it has been resolved or needs further investigation and you will be given your unique crime reference number.
If my crime requires further investigation what happens next?
Your crime will be allocated to an officer in charge (OIC) who will investigate any lines of enquiry to try and bring those responsible to justice. The officer will contact you within 72 hours to introduce themselves (unless you are a priority victim – please see Priority Victims of Crime), explain what lines of enquiry they will be following and agree with you how and when they will keep in contact. All victims of crime are also entitled to receive a written acknowledgement of the crime they are reporting. The OIC will also explain the support services available.
Giving a Statement
If the crime you reported is being investigated, you may be asked to give an evidential statement. A statement is an important written account of what you have seen or heard, meaning it should ideally be made as soon as possible, which will be used to inform the police during the investigation and to submit evidence to the court in order to bring offenders to justice.
Your statement will be taken by a Police Officer or a member of Police Staff, who will write the statement on your behalf. They will also explain the process to you. If you have given a statement to the police then you may be called to give evidence at court if the suspect is arrested, charged and pleads Not Guilty. But not all those who make a statement go to court, only those witnesses required by the Crown Prosecution Service. If the suspect is not charged or pleads Guilty, you will not be called.
Be assured, none of your personal information recorded on the back of the written statement will be disclosed to the defendant or their solicitor. The defence will only receive a copy of the statement for review.
When will I get an update?
Throughout the investigation the officer in charge (OIC) will contact you in line with the agreement made with you to update you with how your case is progressing. They will also contact you if:
- Someone is arrested for the offence
- A suspect is interviewed under caution
- A suspect is bailed
- A suspect is charged
- All enquiries have been completed and the case will be closed
Priority Victims of Crime
We will ensure those victims identified as ‘priority’; vulnerable, intimidated, persistently targeted, or victims of the most serious crimes are offered an enhanced service. This includes (but is not an exhaustive list):
- Children under 18 years of age at the time of the offence
- Any person suffering from a mental disorder or learning disability
- And person who is physically disabled
- Priority victims of crime must be contacted after their crime has been received and updated within 24 hours.
Further details of enhanced entitlements and responsibilities can be found in the Victims’ Code
How do I contact the officer in charge of my case if I have a question/more information?
The officer in charge (OIC) will provide you with their contact details when the first make contact with you. Alternatively, you can call Surrey Police on 101 or 01483 571212 and give the name of the officer in charge or your crime reference number.