Making a statement to police
If you are the victim or witness of a crime, the officer in charge will ask you to make a detailed statement about what happened. This is different to reporting the crime.
You may be asked to make a statement when you report the crime or later on. You do not need to have a lawyer when you make a statement.
You do not have to make a statement or answer questions but it will help police investigate the crime. Victims often provide important evidence that help police charge the accused person and prevent them from committing the crime again.
Tell the police, in your own words, everything you remember about what happened. Sometimes the questions police must ask might be difficult or embarrassing to answer. Try not to leave anything out, even if you don’t think it is important.
In some cases, police may record a video of you giving your statement. Police will usually video record the statements of child victims.
What happens after you have made your statement?
If you have made a written statement you will be given a copy of it. Make sure you tell the officer in charge if:
- you have left anything out of your statement
- there’s a mistake in your statement
- your address or phone number change
- there are any dates that you can’t go to court.
When you report the crime, you may be in shock and might not be able to remember everything that happened. If you remember something later - no matter how small it is - contact the police and tell them. It could be important to the case.
How your statement is used
The police keep a record of your statement. If the case goes to court, a copy of your statement is given to the accused person’s lawyers. If you have to give evidence at the trial, you will be given a copy of your statement to refresh your memory.