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If I report, will the police lay charges?

Understand the reporting process and how police determine when charges will be laid

The police review, and take seriously, every report of sexual assault submitted. Whether the police lay charges or not depends on how you report and the information available to them.

If you submit an anonymous report, the Police won’t launch an investigation and no charges will be laid.

Anonymous reporting is important for establishing hot spots and providing valuable data about sexual assault in your community.

Police will investigate if you provide your contact details along with your report. An investigating officer will contact you to begin the process.

If the police don’t lay charges, it doesn’t mean the sexual assault didn’t happen

Determining if charges can be laid

After an investigation, police aren’t always able to lay charges. This doesn’t mean that the police don’t believe you or that the sexual assault didn’t happen.

Determining whether charges can be laid is a decision made after the police consult with Crown prosecutors. Together they discuss the details of the case and offences to determine if charges can be laid.

When no charges are laid, it may mean there isn’t enough evidence to prove a criminal charge in court. If this happens, the police officer will explain the decision to you.

Unsolved cases stay open

Sometimes offenders aren’t identified or caught. Unsolved sexual assault cases are never closed, they remain open.

If more information is received, the investigation will continue, which can lead to an arrest or charges.

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