Reporting Crime

MOT and Police Scotland are dedicated to improving their responses to crimes such as hate crime, sexual assault and rape.  We are committed to working with individuals affected to improve responses, including supporting more people to report and making services more accessible.

Reporting to the Police

You can choose whether or not to report what has happened to the police. For some people, reporting their attacker and seeking justice is very important.

Other people do not want to tell anyone at all, far less report to an official body. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed; frightened about what the attacker might do; think they will not be believed; or be anxious about having to go to court and give evidence. If the attacker is a partner or close family member, they may worry about the effect on family or friends.

It may help to talk about any concerns before making a decision.  You can to talk to a police officer first without giving your name.  You can also speak to a member of staff at MOT, Sexual Health Services or a support organisation such as Rape Crisis Scotland.

In making your decision, it may be helpful to think about the following:

If you report:

• This may stop your attacker from harming you again or from harming someone else

• You may feel better by taking control and doing what you can to ensure your attacker accounts for the crime

• You may be able to claim compensation for any injury

• The police will carry out an investigation. If, at a later date, you do not want to go ahead, your wishes would be taken into account but the police may continue the investigation

If you choose not to report:

• It is not your fault if your attacker harms someone else

• The attacker is responsible for what they do

• They always have a choice

But, if you do not want to report because your attacker or someone else has threatened to harm you if you do, it is better that the police know this so they can take measures to make sure that you are not at risk.

If you are not sure what happens when you report a crime to the police or how the legal system works, you can find out more in Information and help following sexual assault and rape.

If you know that you want to report to the police, do this as soon as possible. This is because the longer you leave it, the more likely it is that some evidence may get damaged or lost.

Even if the assault happened some time ago, you can still report it to the police. Some people do not report until years later. There may still be evidence to help the police continue with an investigation.

There are a number of ways to make it easier for you to report crime to the police.

If you do not need an immediate response from the police you can report in the following ways:

• Phoning the police non-emergency number 101

• Go to your local police station

• Report to a police officer in the street

• Report hate crime online

• Report anonymously - call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

• Report through MOT or Sexual Health Services (click the 3rd Party Reporting tab on the left)

If it is an emergency and you need the police to attend immediately, always dial 999

For more information on reporting crime please visit the Police Scotland website.

get our app