Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice. Find out more >
Once the crime is reported police can begin to investigate and gather evidence.
Some cases can take police only a few weeks to investigate while other cases can take months and sometimes longer, often depending on amount and type of evidence police need to collect.
Uniformed police are usually the first to attend when you report a crime that has just happened or is happening.
They will ask you what happened, get your personal details, a description of the offender and any other information that could assist with the investigation. If required, they can also arrange medical treatment or an ambulance.
In some cases, the police may seal off an area to allow specialist crime scene examiners to search the location for evidence and take photographs. In some instances, such as sexual assault cases, detectives may be called to the scene and will take charge of the investigation.
Police may arrest and interview a person (or people) as a result of the evidence they have collected during the investigation.
If you have questions about the investigation you can contact the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the investigation. If the OIC is unavailable, you can contact the Supervising Sergeant and quote the reference, or COPS event number.
You can also contact the Supervising Sergeant if you have a complaint about the investigation.
Legal Aid NSW police powers (webpage)Intended to inform a person that is arrested rather than a victim.
Information about investigation of the crime (PDF, 99Kb)Explains the investigation process, who is involved, who a victim should contact, how long an investigation generally lasts and other assistance available from the police.