Department of Justice

Reporting a Crime

Victim Services

Reporting a Crime

You don’t have to report a crime to talk to Victim Services, but we can help you understand what will happen if you do report.

We will not discuss your situation with anyone else without your knowledge and permission, except as required by law (such as if the victim is under 19, or a crime is about to be committed).

Victims of Sexual Assault or Domestic Violence

If you are a victim of sexual assault, please visit our sexual assault section for more detailed information on what’s involved in reporting to the police.

Victims of domestic violence may want to read about what if the police are involved.

Why you might want to report a crime

Reporting a crime can:

  • give you an opportunity to deal with the harm that has been done to you or others; and
  • help to protect you, your loved ones and the community from future crimes.

The first step in reporting a crime

The first step in reporting a crime is contacting your local police. 

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 if in Whitehorse or your local RCMP detachment (the police emergency number can be found on the inside front cover of your phone book).

You can report the crime right away or you can wait and report it later. However, early reporting may increase the chances of finding and preserving evidence. It can also help with finding and prosecuting the accused person. 

What to expect during a police interview

The police will normally want to interview you to collect information that will help in their investigation. You can have a support person or friend with you if you'd like.

A police officer will talk to you about what happened.  It is important to tell the police everything that you remember about the incident.

You may be asked  to write your own statement or a police officer may compile a written statement based on what you have said.

You will be asked to read through the statement and sign it to ensure it is correct. In some cases your statement may be recorded in a videotaped interview.

Sometimes, the police may need to speak with you more than once.

Police will investigate the crime

If you report a crime to the police, this does not ensure that a suspect will be apprehended.

In order to pursue criminal charges, the police must first investigate the crime, which might take some time. In addition to the statement you made, they may need to gather other evidence. You can call them at any time to ask them where the investigation stands.

When the police investigation is complete, and if police believe there is enough evidence to support a charge, they will  prepare a report to Crown Prosecutor to recommend that a charge be laid.

If they do not feel there is enough evidence, they will not proceed with charges.

If the police do not recommend charges, it doesn’t mean they didn’t believe you or that a crime did not occur. It may just mean that there Is not enough evidence to prove a criminal charge in court.

The decision to lay a charge

The Crown Prosecutors are government lawyers that prosecute cases. They act on behalf of all members of the public.

The Crown will decide whether there is enough evidence to lay a criminal charge. They need to be satisfied that there is enough evidence to have the suspect found guilty and that going to trial is in the public interest.

If charges are laid, the accused may be released or held in custody unless granted bail at a bail hearing.

They will then enter the court process.