Report and investigation

Report and investigation

If you have been the victim of crime, you need to report it to the police. You can report the crime by telephone, in writing (including email), or by going to a police station in person. Read more about reporting a crime on the police's website.

It is important that you report the crime as soon as possible after it was committed.

You are not required to report the crime to the police, but it may be necessary if you want compensation for the injury or loss you sustained as a result of the offence.

In cases of violence, you are normally only eligible for compensation under the Victims Compensation Act if you reported the crime to the police within 72 hours of its occurrence. The claim for notification within 72 hours does not apply in cases of rape, incest and sexual abuse of children committed after April 1, 2016. Read more at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board website.

When a crime has been committed, the police will open the case for investigation if there is evidence or other information that may lead to a resolution of the crime. The police will usually begin their investigation by interviewing any persons who know or have seen anything with a bearing on the case.

There may also be forensic and technical evidence for the police to investigate. This could include fingerprints, DNA traces, or video surveillance recordings.

If the police find reasonable cause to suspect a specific person, they will bring provisional charges against that person. When the investigation is completed, the prosecution service will decide on any further action in the case.

Back to the criminal justice process