Some police investigations can take a long time.
Keep any documents about an investigation in a safe place where you can find them.
You can contact police to get information about an investigation.
A police officer (called the police investigator) will be responsible for investigating the crime. You can ask them any questions you have.
Sometimes police will not be able to give you certain information if it might interfere with the investigation.
If you have any concerns about your safety during this time, let the police know.
What happens during a police investigation?
If you feel that you need a support person with you when you are making your statement you should discuss this with the police beforehand.
Police will also:
- take statements from other witnesses
- collect evidence related to the crime.
You can choose how much you want to know about the investigation and let police know when you would like to be contacted.
Some investigations can take quite some time, so there may be periods where you do not hear from the police, but that does not mean that nothing is happening.
Learn more about how you can get information about the investigation.
Mandatory reporting – protecting children from harm
In Victoria, police and other professionals such as medical practitioners, nurses and teachers are legally required to report to child protection if they believe a child:
- has been or might be harmed because of physical or sexual abuse, and
- their parents or guardians have not protected them, are not able to protect them or are not likely to protect them.
This is called mandatory reporting.
All adults in the community have a responsibility to report child sexual abuse
Since 2014, there has been a law in Victoria called the failure to disclose offence. It means that you must report child sexual abuse if you:
- are an adult, and
- you come to a ‘reasonable belief’ that a sexual offence (sexual abuse) has been committed by an adult against a child under 16.
If this happens you must report your belief to the police, unless you have a reasonable excuse. If you do not, you may be charged with a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is three years imprisonment.
You can learn more about the failure to disclose an offence on the Department of Justice and Community’s website.