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When a crime is reported, the police will review the information carefully and decide what action to take.
Actions may range from a simple caution letter to lengthy and complex police investigations. Police in Canada are required to function independently, free from political or any other kind of interference.
Did You Know?
In a physical or sexual assault, there may be physical evidence which can help to identify the accused or support your allegation. This may include hair samples, bodily fluids or other evidence on your body or clothing. Although this may be difficult for you, it is important that the police get the evidence for their investigation. This may include:
The collection of evidence means it is especially important to report a physical or sexual assault as soon as possible.
After an incident is reported to police, the following will likely occur:
Witnesses, victims, and suspects do not have to answer the questions that the police officer or investigator asks, unless a child is at risk. However, these statements can make a big difference in helping police find the correct suspect or in resolving the matter.
The police do not decide whether or not charges will be laid against someone accused of a crime. Rather, if they decide there is enough evidence, they will refer the case to Crown counsel and recommend whatever charges they feel are appropriate. That referral is called a Report to Crown Counsel and will include victim and witness statements in written, audio or video taped form and all other relevant information. It should be noted that suspects, having the “right of silence” are not required to speak to the police.