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When you or someone you care about are assaulted, it is a very traumatic event. There are different levels of violence and assault and these are categorised in law by the level of injury.


The police response may be different based on the circumstances of the offence and the type of assault. Police may attend immediately or come and see you at a later time. 

Reporting an Incident to police

When a report of an assault is made to the police control room the operator will consider the circumstances including the following factors:

  • If there is a threat to life or limb
  • If the incident is in progress or likely to occur or be resumed
  • If there is a suspect is at the scene or an early arrest is likely
  • Violence is being used or threatened, or
  • a 999 call is abandoned, or the operator thinks a police officer needs to attend immediately

Depending on the circumstances it may be more appropriate for the victim to receive medical attention before speaking with police - this will be assessed on a case by case basis.

In this case, what can you do before the police attend?

  • Obtain medical attention if required
  • Keep any clothing or items relevant to the offence (if there is blood or forensic evidence)
  • Write down any witnesses
  • Take photos of the injuries

Police officers attending will make contact with the person who has been assaulted and make sure all evidence is secured. This will include any evidence at the scene.

Photographic evidence of the injury assists the investigation and can be recorded by the victim or the officer attending serious injuries will be photographed by a crime scene investigator.

The police will update you on progress with the investigation, letting you know of any arrests or suspects being charged.

You can agree with the police how often you would like to hear from them about the investigation.

As a victim of crime you may be able to take part in restorative justice. This is when those harmed by a crime have contact with the offender so that both can find a positive way forward. Both the victim and offender need to agree for the contact to take place.

Further help and support can be obtained from the following agencies:

Victim Advice Line

We understand that everyone's experience of crime is different. Here in West Mercia we have introduced Victim Advice Line (from 1 April 2019), a service specifically developed to provide emotional and practical support for victims of crime. 
The service is free and confidential and is available even if you choose not to report a crime.
We want to make things as easy as possible for you. When we speak for the first time, we'll often already know a little about what happened, so you won't need to tell your story again and again. 
We'll carry out a needs and risk assessment so we know exactly what kind of help and support you need.
We'll also assign you your own Care Coordinator, who'll be there for you throughout your journey to ensure those needs are met, and that you always have someone to talk to. Your Care Coordinator will put together a package of help and support that's specially tailored to your situation, from relevant advice booklets to contact numbers for counselling and other support services - whatever they feel you might need. 
If you'd like them to, they can also refer you on to other specialist services outside of Victim Advice Line. As well as helping you cope and recover, we'll give you tools and techniques to stay strong after you've left us, so you're less likely to be a victim in the future.
Victim Advice Line will be there for you as long as you need us. If you want someone to talk to at a later date, you can always contact us and refer yourself back in.
For further information please visit the Victim Advice Line website or call the team on: 0800 952 3000
Lines are open Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm.

Victim Advice Line (VAL)
Victim Advice Line (VAL)

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority 

Deal with compensation claims from people who have been physically or mentally injured because they were the blameless victim of a violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales.

CICA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice.

Download leaflet: pdf icon Assault - advice sheet [160kb]