Reporting a crime

If you’ve been a victim of crime, you’ll need to decide whether or not to tell the police.

It’s okay to feel unsure about this or worry about what will happen if you do. You might think that the police won’t care. Maybe you’ve had a bad experience with the police in the past. Or perhaps you’re worried that if you talk to the police, it will only make things worse.

If you decide to report to the police

There are positive reasons for reporting a crime. Remember that the police deal with all sorts of crime every day; they should treat everybody fairly and equally, and put your safety first.

If you report the crime, there’s more chance that the offender will be caught or brought to justice for what they’ve done. The police also keep records of all reported crime and this information goes into government statistics and reports. These can change the way crime is dealt with by the police and other parts of the criminal justice system.

If you do decide to report a crime to the police, you have a right to be referred to a service that supports victims. The police should tell you about all the support services available in your local area. The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales sets out the minimum level of service that victims should receive from the criminal justice system.

Remember that we’ll give you help and support whether you decide to involve the police or not. Find out how to contact us.

How to report a crime

You can report a crime in several ways:

  • If it’s an emergency and the crime is still taking place, call 999 and ask for the police.
  • If it’s not an emergency, do not call 999. This doesn’t mean the crime is not important – it just helps the police to make the best use of their resources. Many police forces use the 101 non-emergency number, so you can ring that number instead.
  • You can go to your local police station and report the crime there. You can find the address and telephone number in the local telephone directory or online. Check what time your local police station is open, as not all stations are open all the time.
  • You can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you want to remain anonymous.
  • If you’ve experienced hate crime, you can also report the incident online through True Vision, or Victim Support’s online portal if you live in Wales.

Here to help, whether or not you report the crime

Victim Support will help you whether you report the crime or not. Our service is confidential, and we won’t pass on information to the police without your consent unless we think someone is at serious risk of harm and needs urgent help. Read more about our confidentiality policy.

Find out how to contact us for support.

Compensation for victims of violence crime

If you’ve been a victim of violent crime, you could be entitled to compensation under the government’s criminal injuries compensation scheme. But to make a claim you must have reported the crime to the police as soon as possible after the event. If you don’t report a violent crime, you may not be able to get compensation.

Find out what happens after you report a crime to the police.

What to do if you find yourself in an emergency situation.