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Will my crime be investigated?
The initial investigation
Every reported crime is investigated and looked at individually. This can be done in person or over the phone, which may be done quickly or by an appointment.
An initial investigation is merely a gathering of facts. The police will want to know your contact details, when and where and what happened in the incident.
- They may want to know if there are any witnesses
- Do you know the person who committed the crime?
- Can you describe the offender (s)?
- The police taking a formal statement from you
- Obtaining medical evidence (Only with your express permission)
- Locating and speaking to potential witnesses.
- Taking formal statements from witnesses.
- Obtaining and examining forensic evidence
- Obtaining and examining CCTV
- Vehicle ownership enquiries
- Formal identification procedures
- The police should issue you with a crime reference number within 36 hours of the initial investigation
What happens after the initial investigation?
Once the police have gathered all of the initial facts, a decision will then be made whether to transfer the crime to an investigating officer for further investigation or not. This assessment will take into account the following:
- Seriousness of the offence
- Likelihood of solvability (e.g. availability of evidence)
- Level of resources required proportionate to the seriousness of the offence
You will then receive a letter, phone call or email notifying you of the result of the assessment. There are two possible outcomes at this point.
- Investigation will be closed – this means that there are currently no strong leads to pursue. Should the police receive further intelligence or discover new evidence, which it regularly does, the investigation could be re-opened and you will be contacted. Regardless of whether this happens, the information that you have provided will help police resources to detect and prevent crime in the future.
Why is my crime not being investigated?If the Police have no further lines of enquiry to identify an Offender, the Crime may then be filed as ‘Investigation Completed’. You will be notified once this occurs and should be given an explanation as to why by the Investigating Officer. Remember this may not be the end, further information or evidence may be found that then will cause the Investigation to be re-opened and further enquiries made. Further information can be found here – Information for Victims of Crime or Codes of Practice for Victims of Crime. You will be referred to Voice, unless you specifically state that you do not wish to be referred.
- Crime allocated for further investigation – an investigating officer is assigned and he/she will be responsible for investigating the crime for you. This officer will be able to provide you with specific updates regarding the progress in the case. The method of contact and frequency of communication will be agreed with you and the investigating officer.
If my crime is being investigated further, what happens next?
Next section: Further investigation
Last modified 22nd February 2017
"The Police were so kind and really took the time to listen to me.
I was struggling to come to terms with what happened to me but once I’d spoken to a Police officer I felt as if I didn’t have to worry as much. The best thing was that they believed what I was saying, as I was scared no one would.”
I am not happy with how my Investigation has gone
If you feel that the police have not listened to you or treated you without respect or dignity, you can complain. Any complaint will be treated seriously and looked into by a supervising officer.
You can complain by: