The information below has been prepared in light of the current Coronavirus outbreak.
Check out our summary of how Covid-19 affects police powers to stop you and ask you questions available here.
How to report a crime
If you have been a victim of a crime and are in immediate danger, please call 999.
If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the Metropolitan Police’s textphone service 18000 or text 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service. You can register for this service online https://www.relayuk.bt.com/how-to-use-relay-uk/contact-999-using-relay-uk.html
If it’s not an emergency, please do not call 999. If you’ve witnessed or been the victim of crime, you can report it by calling the 101 non-emergency number. An operator will take down a few details and talk you through the next steps. Alternatively, you can report online via the Metropolitan Police website:
You can go to your local police station and report the crime there, however, due to the current Government guidance on covid-19 advising people to stay home where possible, you should avoid visiting a police station unless it is absolutely necessary. If you need to attend a station, you can find the address and telephone number online. Check what time your local police station is open, as not all stations are open all the time.
British Transport Police
If you have been a victim or witness of a crime that happened on a train or at a train station, you can call British Transport Police on 0800 405 040 or text 61016. An operator will take down a few details, decide whether or not to send the police, and talk you through the next steps.
What to expect
When you report a crime online, you should expect the police to review your report and get back to you within 48 hours, with a crime reference number or further advice.
Try to include as much detail as possible about the incident, including:
- the date and time of the crime
- the precise location of the incident, including address and postcode
- a description of the perpetrator
- unique details of any items stolen (e.g. specific marks or colours, a registration number, a phone’s IMEI number)
- contact details of anyone who witnessed the crime
- information about any evidence that could help the investigation
Update on a crime
If you have already reported a crime and want to obtain an update or speak to an officer, you will require your Crime Reference Number. This is 10-digit number which should have been given to you at the time or shortly after you reported the incident.
You can call the Crime Management Service on 0208 284 5100 to obtain an update or seek details of the officer who has been allocated to your case.
Please be aware that all forces are experiencing delays due to covid-19 and it may take longer than usual for an officer to get back to you or respond to a query.
Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s: race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.
If you are a victim or witness of a hate crime, including hate crime that’s related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can report it to the police, who have a duty to support the victim and investigate it.
Call 999 in an emergency or report online: https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/hco/hate-crime/how-to-report-hate-crime/
You can also report anti-Muslim hate incidents or hate crimes to TellMAMA via their website https://tellmamauk.org. For more information about hate crime or incidents and advice on how to report it, visit the True Vision website https://www.report-it.org.uk/home
You can report any incident of domestic violence or domestic abuse to the police using their crime reporting service. You can report by calling 999 if it is an emergency, 101 if it is not an emergency or you can report it online.
All domestic violence reports made using the crime reporting service are reviewed by the Met’s 24/7 contact centre within a few hours. You’ll also be able to download a copy of your report so you have a record of it.
If you are at risk and in need of emergency protection, such as an injunction or non-molestation order, please contact the National Centre for Domestic Violence for further advice and information, on 0800 970 2070 or visit their website https://www.ncdv.org.uk
If you are a victim of domestic violence and would like further support, such as advice on domestic abuse refuges, please contact: Hestia (020 7378 3100), Asian Women’s Resource Centre (020 8961 5701) or Solace Women’s Aid (0808 802 5565).
If you’ve witnessed antisocial behaviour of any kind, you can report it using the Met’s online tool. A link is available at the top of this page.
The police will assess your report, record the incident, and decide on the best course of action. They will usually only get in touch with you if they need more details.
In most cases the police notify your local policing team who deal with antisocial behaviour. If they need to contact you for further information to assist with an investigation, they’ll do so. You’ll be able to download a copy of your report for your own records.
If this doesn’t work you can report a neighbour to your local council. They’ll advise you on the next steps. You can access information about anti-social behaviour, including how best to collect evidence (including completing diary sheers) and how to report incidents of anti-social behaviour to Harrow Council. Follow this link to report anti-social behaviour to the Council:
You can also email the Anti-social behaviour team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 020 8901 2600.
If you’re in social housing, your housing provider can also provide you with help and advice.
If you suspect you’ve been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber-crime, you can report it online to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime or by phone 0300 123 2040:
Once you have created a report, Action Fraud will send your report for assessment to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which conducts criminal investigations. The Action Fraud team should also give you the help, support and advice you need.
- Crimestoppers are an independent charity which allows you to pass information to the authorities while staying 100% anonymous. Their number is 0800 555 111 or visit their website http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org
- Victim Support are a charity offering free and confidential support to help victims and witnesses move beyond the impact of crime. Their support line is 0808 1689 111 or visit their website https://www.victimsupport.org.uk