If you’ve been the victim of rape or sexual assault, there are many different ways you can report it to the police. We understand it can be difficult. You might not be completely sure what happened or how to talk about it. Our trained officers and partner organisations are here to listen and work together to support you in any way we can. Importantly, your information could help us bring the offender to justice and make sure you, and other people in a similar situation, are kept safe.

999 alert

Is someone in immediate danger? Is a crime taking place or has one just happened? If so, call 999 now and ask for the police. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

Report online

If you’d like to report online, rather than speaking to an officer by telephone in the first instance, you can use our online crime reporting service which is secure and confidential.

All reports made using this service are reviewed by our 24/7 contact centre within a few hours and an officer will get back to you in a maximum of two days (although usually quicker).

Call 101

If you’d like to talk to someone, our national non-emergency telephone number is staffed 24/7. Call us on 101 and report what happened or just get some advice. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service on 18001 101.

Visit a sexual assault referral centre

If you don't want to go to the police, you could go to your local sexual assault referral centre (SARC).

The trained staff there can give you confidential medical help and advice. They can also gather evidence for you to use at a later date, if you decide to report the assault to the police. They won't contact the police unless you want them to. 

Evidence

If the assault has only just happened, you may want to wash all traces of your attacker away - this is a natural instinct. But pause before you do this. These traces, called forensic evidence, could help police to prove the guilt of the person who assaulted you.

To preserve forensic evidence:

  • don’t wash any part of your body
  • don’t brush your teeth
  • don’t brush your hair
  • don't drink or eat anything
  • don't wash any plates, cutlery or cups used by the person who assaulted you
  • keep a sample of urine
  • keep all of the clothes you were wearing safe and don’t wash them
  • keep any condoms, chewing gum, cigarettes that were used
  • if you were wearing a panty liner, sanitary towel or tampon, keep this too and if possible put it inside a paper bag.

Once the SARC staff have collected the evidence, you'll be able to eat, drink and shower. Even though they hold the evidence, you don't have to report the crime if you don't want to.

Report a crime on someone else’s behalf

If someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, and doesn’t feel able to speak to the police yet, please report it yourself using any of the methods above. We’ll record the incident and help you to support the victim if needed.

Provide information anonymously

Information provided anonymously via Crimestoppers is extremely valuable in helping us plan how we police each area.

You can contact them through their website or by calling 0800 555 111.

Other useful links

We understand that you may not be ready to talk to us about what has happened. The charities, groups and organisations on the support organisations page can offer support, advice and ways to report the incident without having to talk directly to the police.