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Victims of Crime
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Should you report a crime?

All crimes are regarded as serious; however crimes which involve physical assault, armed robbery, child abuse, sexual assault and homicide are given priority by the West Australian Police. As well as dealing with the crime, the police have a duty of care to the victim.

If you are unsure whether or not to report a crime, you can speak to the police informally, either on the phone or in person. The police can give you information on what you will have to do and what the police will do, but they will not do anything unless you want them to.

When you report a crime, the police will note details in order to complete an incident report. The police may ask you to provide a statement about what has occurred. Once this is done, police will commence their investigations. Should someone be charged with a crime, you will need to cooperate to assist with the prosecution and may be required to attend court as a witness.

In some cases, individuals may not wish to proceed with an investigation. Should this occur, the police may ask you to sign a statement indicating that you do not wish the matter to proceed.

Reporting a crime

By reporting a crime:

  • you will receive early assistance with medical / counselling / funeral costs

  • you may be eligible for compensation for injury or loss as a result of the offence or alleged offence.

  • if the offender is found guilty, at the time of sentencing you can submit a Victim Impact Statement which will inform the magistrate/judge of the impact the crime has had on you and your family.

Regardless of whether or not you report a crime, you can receive support and assistance from victim support groups and other services offered by the Government and support groups. You can also apply for a restraining order.

Not reporting a crime

You can choose not to tell the police about what happened.

If you decide not to report a crime, you can still access support/referral from victim services including Victim Support Service, refuges, SARC and community counselling services. 

A crime does not have to be reported in order to have grounds to apply for a restraining order.  However, an offence must be reported to the police to be able to make an application for criminal injuries compensation. 

If you do not report a crime, you still need to consider preserving evidence in case you later change your mind.  For example, if you have been sexually assaulted, you can get medical attention and ask the medical staff to take all the tests in case you need this evidence at a later stage.

Last updated: 18-Feb-2013

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