Reporting a Crime - Information for Witnesses

Witnesses play a very important part in the criminal justice system. You may have mixed feelings about reporting a crime because you do not want the person who committed the crime to find out. It is natural to feel scared, intimidated or uncertain about reporting a crime.

If you choose to come forward and report a crime to the police, the information you provide can help to find and convict the right person. As a witness to a crime you have no legal obligation to contact the police, unless it involves a child or young person being abused, neglected, put at risk, or needing protection.

If you report a crime you are helping protect yourself and your community from future crime. Whenever you see something going on in the community that you think might be a crime, contact your local police as soon as you can.

What to Report

The more details you can provide to police, the more efficient the investigation will be and the faster they can arrest the right person. You will need to describe what you saw and all the people involved in the crime. The police will ask you questions.

If you witness a crime that involves strangers, it is a good idea to write down everything about the incident as soon as you can. This will help you remember when you talk to police.

Why it is Important to Report a Crime

If you are a witness or victim of crime, it is important to report the crime so you can get help and support. Also, by telling the police what you know, you may help them solve this and other crimes. You should talk to the police if you know:

  • About a crime that has been committed or might be committed
  • Someone who was involved in committing a crime
  • Someone who has threatened you or another person or threatened to commit a crime
  • About any other activities you think may be criminal

More Information

Visit Reporting a Crime for more information.