Investigating a Crime

Police are responsible for conducting criminal investigations. At the investigation stage, police gather and review information to figure out what happened. This may involve, for example, examining the place where the crime occurred and talking to victims and witnesses.

Based on what they learn, the police decide whether there is enough evidence to prove an accused committed a crime. If they think there is, they may make a report to Crown counsel recommending that charges be laid.

Like Crown counsel all police activities, including investigations, must be done independently.

Here are the common steps in a police investigation.

  • The investigation begins when a crime or an incident is reported or known to police.
  • Police gather information from the victim, witnesses and other people involved.
  • Police may ask the victim to complete a statement.
  • Police may ask witnesses to complete a witness statement.
  • In some situations, police may also examine the crime site to get any physical evidence. This may include forensic evidence.
  • Police review the information collected and decide what action to take.