Once you have reported a crime, there are a number of things that will happen - we will:
Visit you as soon as possible
When we come will depend on the crime that has been committed. In some cases, like burglary, violent crime or racist incidents an officer will always attend. However, in other cases, such as vehicle crime, whether an officer attends or not will depend on the circumstances of the crime and what is most convenient for you. Sometimes you might prefer to speak to an officer over the phone so you can arrange necessary repairs without delay. Whatever the case, you should always get the information you need and we should also be clear about how we will respond.
Find out what's happened
The police officer will get a "first account" of the incident from you and will want to know as much information about the incident as you can give them. If you have been burgled, the officer will then need to take detailed notes on what property has been stolen. You need to include as much detail as possible in order to help us to identify and return any property that is recovered. Details should include serial or model numbers if you have them. Attempt to preserve and recover evidence - officers will do this by examining the scene and preserving any evidence they find. A Crime Scene Investigator who is specially trained in forensic evidence may also visit you.
What happens next?
Once we have visited you and/or taken a first account we will then:
Offer and explain the Victim Support Scheme to you
Victim Support can provide free confidential support, practical help and information. If the police catch the person accused of the crime and the case goes to court, you can also get help from Victim Support's witness service. We will also give you a copy of our Victim Care Pack.
Make house to house enquiries
On some occasions the officer may need to speak to friends or neighbours to find out if they have seen or heard anything relating to your incident, which may help them with their enquiries.
Give you a crime or log reference number
This will be a number specific to you which you will need to quote if you want to ask about the incident in the future. You will also need to quote this for insurance purposes as well.
Give you the details of the officer attending your home
Your Officer in the Case (OIC) will have a number of ongoing cases for different incidents. Therefore it can take longer to complete an investigation than you would think. Your OIC will keep you informed of the progress of your case although please be aware that updates are unlikely to be immediate and will generally come within 30 days.
Investigate the crime
We will try to recover property and identify those responsible.
How will you be kept informed?
We will keep you informed of our enquiries by your preferred means of contact whether this is via email or telephone. We will tell you when someone has been arrested in relation to your crime and once they have been charged - we aim to let you have these details within 24 hours. If the person arrested is released on police bail and has conditions imposed on them that affect you, we will let you know as soon as they are released. If this person is charged and attends court we will keep you informed of the proceedings.
If you need to speak with the officer dealing with your case you will be able to do so by emailing them directly, or using the Contact an Officer area on our website.
At what point will a case be closed?
We will do all we can to investigate your crime. Only when we have exhausted all available lines of enquiry and there is nothing more we can do, will we close a case. We will not close a case without informing you first. However sometimes information comes to light after a case has been closed and if this happens we will re-contact you. Likewise, if we subsequently recover any property or make any arrests we will contact you as well.
How do I make a complaint?
If you are dissatisfied with the service provided, you should discuss your complaint with the person you have been dealing with. If you are still dissatisfied, you should contact us to make a formal complaint. You can do this by logging your complaint on our Complaints section of our website.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may refer the issue, through a Member of Parliament, to the Parliamentary Ombudsman for consideration.