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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Reporting a crime

If you've been the victim of a crime or think you have witnessed one, you should report it to the police straight away. Your information could be used to prevent other crimes and help keep other people safe. Find out about the different ways of reporting a crime.

Dialling 999

If you've been mugged, badly hurt, or attacked in any way, or if you've just seen a serious crime being committed, then you should ring 999 as soon as possible.

Your call should be answered within ten seconds. A trained staff member will ask you to describe what has happened and where you are. They may ask if you need any other emergency services, such as an ambulance.

If the situation is an emergency, a police officer will come to the scene to talk to you. They'll ask you to explain what happened, and they can help you decide what to do next.

Reporting non-emergency crimes

If you want to report a minor crime, such as a stolen mobile phone, you should go to your nearest police station to report it, or call your local police force. You can now use the phone number 101 to report minor crimes to the police in some areas. Check the link below to see if 101 is available where you live.

By not using 999 for minor crimes, you're making sure that people in genuine emergency situations can reach the police quickly.

Non-emergency crimes can include:

  • vandalism
  • graffiti
  • abandoned cars
  • pickpocketing

Giving a statement

Whether you reported an emergency or non-emergency, you will have to give a statement to the police. That means that you’ll have to tell an officer what happened to you or what you saw.

They may ask you questions or ask you to repeat yourself, to make sure the statement is as accurate and as detailed as possible.

When you've finished giving a statement, the police will usually read it back to you to make sure that their written account matches yours.

If you agree, you'll sign the statement and get a crime reference number. If you want to contact the police about the same incident in the future, you'll need to keep that reference number in a safe place.

If you're a victim of theft, you'll need to use the reference number when you tell your insurance company.

How to report crime anonymously

If you want to report a crime, but you do not want to be identified to the police, call Crimestoppers.

Crimestoppers staff will record your information and pass it on to the police so that it can be used to solve the crime.

Your call will not be traced, and you won't have to testify in court or give a full statement, no matter how useful the information turns out to be.

You can call Crimestoppers at any time on 0800 555 111.

Additional links

Local crime information

Find out what's being done about crime and anti-social behaviour where you live

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