When you report a crime to the police the person in charge of finding out more information about what happened is called the investigating officer.
They will give you a card with their telephone number on it. You can phone them if you need to. You can also ask someone to phone them for you.
If you are the victim of a crime, the police will ask you to answer questions to find out what happened. This is called making a statement.
A statement can be written down, but normally if a sexual crime has happened it will be recorded in a video.
The police understand that talking about what happened can be hard. They know it might make you feel upset.
You can ask to take a break at any time. You can take as long as you need to talk about what happened.
If you find it hard to understand English (if you normally speak a different language) the police can get an interpreter to help you.
If you are deaf or have difficulty hearing, the police can get a sign language interpreter to help you.
The police may also ask a registered intermediary or social worker to help.
If your statement is written down the police will ask you to read it to make sure everything in it is right. Or they can read it out for you if you want them to.
They will ask you to sign the statement if you agree everything is right.
If something is not right it is important that you tell them.
The police will sometimes need to talk to you again to check some information.
If you are giving your statement by video the police will ask you questions and make a video recording of the answers you give.
The person who is asking the questions will explain what will happen.
Sometimes a police officer and a social worker will ask you questions – this is what is known as joint protocol. This is a joint investigation by police and social services. This will depend on what has happened and who is involved.
Anything that helps to prove that a crime has happened is called evidence.
If you have experienced sexual abuse, the police might ask for a doctor to look at you. This is called a medical examination.
The doctor may need to look at the parts of your body where the abuse happened. They will only do this if you say it is ok.
They will do this to find evidence that will help prove that a crime has happened. They will see if you need any medical treatment.
If you have been injured (hurt) the police might take photographs of your injuries. They will write down what injuries you have.
The police and the doctor understand that you may feel upset and embarrassed.
They will do what they can to make you feel comfortable. They want to help.
It may take some time for the police to get all the information they need.
They will keep in touch with you to tell you what is happening.
You can phone them any time for an update.
They will tell you if they arrest the person they think committed the crime. This person is called a suspect.