Talking about your crime

When you report a crime to us we will let you know what happens next. If your case cannot be investigated further we will explain the reasons why.

If your case is to be investigated further we will keep you informed at important stages of the investigation, for example when a suspect is identified or brought to court.

Questioning you

The police will ask you questions about what has happened and record details. You can have someone with you for support such as a relative or family friend. They should be aged over 18 and not connected with the offence.

You may be asked to make a witness statement. This is when you say what happened, when the crime took place and where it occurred.

If you do not understand or speak English you are entitled to ask for an interpretation into a language you understand when being interviewed by the police.

We will ask you about the support you require and complete a victim needs assessment. This will help us to understand your needs to help you cope with and recover from the impact of the crime.

Victim Personal Statement (VPS)

If you have made a witness statement, the police will also ask you if you would like to make a Victim Personal Statement which allows you to explain in your own words how a crime has affected you.

If you choose not to make a statement at this time you can still make one later, as long as it is before the offender is sentenced in court. Please be aware that some cases come to court very quickly.

In your statement you cannot say what sentence or punishment you think the offender should receive as this will be for the court to decide.

If your case reaches court your statement will be shown to the defence and you may be questioned on it.

You will be asked if you would like your statement to be read out or played in court if the suspect is found guilty. The decision to allow you to read out your statement personally is made at the discretion of the court. If your case moves quickly it may not be possible, although it will still be taken into consideration by the judge.

If your statement is discussed in court the details could be reported in the media.

You must tell us if:

  • You remember something that you have not already reported.
  • You need support to help you deal with the effect of the crime or if your needs change.
  • You have specific needs such as mobility, communication or religious requirements which have not already been recorded.
  • You suffer any abuse, for example if you have been targeted because of your race, sexuality, religion, disability or gender identity.
  • Your contact details change.


Contact centre
Devon & Cornwall Police
Police Headquarters
Middlemoor, Exeter

Tel: 101
Textphone: 67101 sms/text number for the deaf/hard hearing/speech impaired
Tel: 18001 101 Minicom/Textphone

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

Current location: Change

There seems to be a problem, please refresh the page and try again.

©2015 Devon and Cornwall Constabulary

Content uploaded: |
Content correct on page at last modification date.
Devon and Cornwall Police are NOT accountable for the content of external websites