I’ve witnessed a crime

Crime can have a lasting effect on you, even if you weren’t the victim or weren’t physically harmed.

If you’ve witnessed a crime - or think you may have witnessed a crime – you should report it to the police. You can do this online or by calling 101. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, or if a crime is currently in progress, you should call 999.

What happens when I report a crime?

Depending on the nature of the crime and the amount of witnesses, the police may need to take a formal statement from you. If the police don’t need a statement, they will explain why.

When you report a crime, the police will:

  • send you a crime reference number;
  • explain how the crime will be investigated;
  • ask if you would like to be kept up to date with progress of the investigation; and
  • let you know the support available from agencies such as Victim Support.

If the investigation results in the case going to trial, you may be asked to attend court as a witness. 

How we can help

If you’ve witnessed a crime, you can get support from us at any time – it doesn’t matter what type of crime you saw or when it took place - we’re here for you, for as long as you need us. 

We provide free, confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for people affected by crime and traumatic events – regardless of whether you have reported the crime to the police or not.

All our support for witnesses of crime is tailored to each individual, but often includes:  

  • emotional support;
  • advice and information;
  • personal safety services;
  • help dealing with the police and criminal justice system; and
  • group work and support from people who have been through similar experiences.

If you’d like to speak to us to see how we can help you, contact us.

Your rights as a witness of crime

The Witness Charter sets out the minimum level of service that victims should receive from the criminal justice system. Find out more about your rights as a witness.

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