Talon: Reporting serious sexual offences

Rape is a serious crime we would encourage you to tell us about.

We understand this is your decision and one you shouldn’t be pushed into but it’s important to remember that the sooner the assault is reported, the more evidence we’ll be able to collect to help prevent you or someone else being hurt again.

If you do decide to make a report, we will do everything we can to make sure you and your family receive the best possible care and support.

Your welfare is our priority and we have 900 specially trained officers working on a 24-hour basis.

Your decision

Calling the police is your decision to make but we understand that not knowing what to expect may be frightening.

We’re not here to tell you what to do but hope the information is both reassuring and useful whether you’ve suffered a sexual assault or are trying to help a partner, friend or relative.

First Contact

Our first concern is your safety so if the incident has just happened and you contact us by phone, our call handler will stay on the line until a police officer arrives.

Trained Officers

We have a team of specially trained officers who will do everything in their power to treat you and your family with care and sensitivity throughout any investigation, court proceedings and beyond.

They will be open, honest, do their best to minimise trauma and offer support for as long as you would like.

If you’ve been raped, please remember it’s not your fault. Regardless of what you might have been wearing, how much you’d had to drink or who was involved, we will never treat any type of rape as more or less serious than any other.

One of our specially trained officers will visit you wherever you feel most comfortable.

The officer will accompany you at all times and explain the whole process but please don’t be afraid to ask questions. We’re here to help and can make arrangements for a friend or family member to be with you if you would like them to.

Early Evidence

Sometimes the officer may use what we call an early evidence kit. This is nothing to worry about, it’s just a small box containing a mouth swab and a pot to collect a urine sample in.

Evidence can be lost by brushing your teeth, eating, drinking or going to the toilet. The early evidence kit helps us collect this evidence quickly

First Account

At this time the officer will take a more detailed account of what has happened which you will be asked to read and sign. We call this a first account.

Although initially you may find it embarrassing to discuss intimate details, our experienced officers will do their best to put you at ease.

It’s important to be truthful. No one will judge you if you had been drinking or taking drugs before the assault but it’s important to let the officer know as it may change the way the account is taken and alert officers that you could need urgent medical attention.

Never be frightened to ask questions, explain things in your own words or ask for a break if you feel you need one.

Making a Statement

The officer will help you make a detailed statement about what has happened. This will help officers with their investigations and may be used later in court.

If a suspect is in custody we may need to take a statement or conduct a video interview sooner rather than later. However if you are feeling tired, the officer will probably suggest you get some rest first. It is important that we gather as much information from you as possible at this time so that you don’t need to be interviewed again. This why we may delay the time of getting this statement so that you are emotionally and physically strong enough to do it.

You should try to recall as many details of the assault as you can.

Anonymity

If you’re worried about being identified, you don’t need to be. The law protects you from this by giving anonymity to victims of sexual attacks for their lifetime.

No information likely to lead to your identification as a victim can be published. This includes your name, address, photograph, school, workplace or any other details that could cause you to be identified.

More in… Talon: Tackling Rape and Sexual Crime

GMP on Twitter

GMP on Facebook