Reporting a Crime - Information for Youth

Last updated on June 9, 2021

If you want to report a crime that is happening right now or need the police because you are not safe, call 911 or your local emergency number.

If you are a victim or witness to crime, report the incident to police.

When you are a victim of a crime committed by a youth, the information you provide could be very important in charging the youth. The investigation and charges will be based on information received from you and any witnesses.

When you come forward to report a crime, it can give you an opportunity to deal with the harm done to you or others. You may be taking the first step to helping prevent further crimes and to protecting others from experiencing the same thing. It also gives police the chance to protect you and put you in touch with other people who can help.

Understanding When a Crime Has Happened

You might not always know what has happened is considered a crime. A crime is a breach of the basic rules of how to behave in society. It is a breach serious enough to be considered an offence against society as a whole, not just a specific person. More specifically, a crime is an act (something you do) or an omission (something you don’t do) prohibited by law. It can usually be punished by a fine or imprisonment.  

Some crimes may be against people (for example, hitting, threatening, stalking, sexually assaulting or killing someone). Other crimes may be against property (for example, stealing someone’s car or breaking their windows).

To learn more about what a crime is, please visit:

If you are unsure whether what you experienced, know about or saw is a crime:

Youth and Child Safety

Everyone has a legal obligation to report situations where a child or young person (under 19) needs protection because they, for example, are being abused, neglected or sexually exploited. You must report the matter to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Please call the Helpline for Children (310-1234, no area code required).

Why it is Important to Report a Crime

When you are a victim or witness to crime, it is important to come forward and report the crime so you can get help and support. Telling the police what you know may help them solve this and other crimes. 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
  • Any other activities you think may be illegal or that were done against a person or property

More Information

See Reporting a Crime for more information.

Law Lessons

Visit the Justice Education Society's Law Lessons website for law curriculum resources for teachers.