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About Police investigation into rape

What the police do following a rape assault

Following a rape in the UK the procedure at a police station once a victim arrives to report an attack follows a set pattern. It will begin with forensic evidence collection, which will aim to provide proof that sexual intercourse did take place. To assist the police in the course of these investigations, you should not wash, eat or drink, change your clothes or clear away anything from the scene of the incident.

After the forensic examination has taken place the police will want to take a statement and this has to be a full account of what happened including details which you may prefer not to disclose, such as how much you had to drink and whether your behaviour left anything to be desired. It is much better to get the full story told at this point rather than concealing it only for it to emerge later in court.

Be prepared for the process at the police station to take several hours and to include you being asked intimate and often embarrassing questions. It has to be completely accurate as it may well be used by the Crown Prosecution Service in the preparation for a court case.

This may not be the end of the matter and the police may want to talk to you again to clarify any points made. Once they have interviewed you and have completed their questions to you, then they will decide what action to taken and whether they arrest and charge the alleged attacker.

The main priority for the police in the initial stages is the safety of the victim and therefore, you will first be seen by a uniformed officer before a Sexual Offence Liaison Officer will be called for who is specially trained to deal with victims of rape.


SHOULD YOU MAKE A COMPENSATION CLAIM? You may wish to calculate your potential rape victim compensation award to have an understanding of your entitlement.


ARE YOU A FOOTBALLER WHO SUFFERED ABUSE? Reports have emerged linking professional clubs to ex-players who were abused by coaching staff. More here on our dedicated football abuse police investigation page


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Published: 06 November 2013
Updated: 25 February 2017