Reporting a crime and victim support

Reporting a crime

Should you need to report a crime during your time at Cambridge, there are a number of ways of doing so, and several details the police will need to obtain from you. It is possible to report a crime sometime after the incident has occurred so do not be put off if you feel unable to approach the police straight away.

In an emergency always call 999, whether you are directly involved or witnessing a situation. If you call 999, you will be asked a number of questions by the call taker so try to remain calm. If it’s safe to do so, remain where you made the call and await the police.

If you have not witnessed the crime but discover it some time later, or if you do not feel able to report the crime immediately, there are a number of ways of contacting the police:

  • By Phone: 01223 358966. You will be asked what your call is regarding and the call taker should direct your call either to the Control Room (if a police presence is required) or to the Crime Management Unit.
  • In Person: Parkside Police Station from 7am–2am. When reporting a crime you can be accompanied by a friend, partner, JCR Officer, CUSU Sabbatical Officer or representative from Victim Support.
  • Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is an independent charity which allows people to provide information about crimes that affect them. You can call Crimestoppers from anywhere in the UK and report a crime anonymously, so know one will even know that you have made the call. Calls are not traced and you will not be asked to make a written statement.

When reporting any crime to the police you will be asked for personal details that you may feel are irrelevant. These include your:

  • Name,
  • Date of birth,
  • Address,
  • Telephone numbers,
  • Occupation,
  • Time and location of the crime,
  • Witness details.

In the event of a burglary occurring try not touch anything if possible until Police and Scenes of Crimes Officers attend. You should also notify the Porters.

If property has been stolen as a result you will asked for the make, model, serial number, colour and frame number (for bikes). Loads of people do not record this information, so make a note of it if you have not already done so. The more detailed a description you can provide, the more likely that the item can be returned to you if recovered.

Sexual assault

The Cambridgeshire Police force have specially trained police officers to deal with crimes of sexual violence. When someone contacts the police to report a sexual assault, the duty police officer will call out a specially trained officer who will then carry out the investigation.

At the police station, the person reporting the attack will be interviewed (and a statement will be produced) and a medical examination performed. The woman or man involved has the right to have a friend with them while giving a statement. The police may ask personal questions, but no one should feel that they have to answer these if they are unable to do so.

A detailed examination is performed to obtain evidence, and if a woman reports the crime a female police officer will be present. The medical examination does not include pregnancy testing or testing for any sexually transmitted disease. These tests can be carried out at the Family Planning Association Clinic or Clinic 1A at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Homophobic crime

Homophobia is a hatred or fear shown towards someone due to their sexuality or perceived sexuality. Through the Open Out scheme you can report any sort of hate crime to the police. Contact the JCR LBGT Officer or CUSU Welfare Officer for more details.

Victim support

Every year Victim Support helps thousands of people. After a robbery, assault or threat, it may be difficult to talk with friends and family about what happened. Support and understanding are important and it may help to have someone to talk to in confidence.

Victim Support is a national organisation and registered charity with a local branch in Cambridge based on Gwydir Street (off Mill Road). The Service is available to all members of the community, including students who are victims of crime. The services available are free and confidential, so no one will know you have been in contact.

Victim Support volunteers are trained to give information, practical help and emotional support to people who have been threatened, assaulted or robbed. People are normally put in contact with Victim Support by the police. However, you can also make contact with Victim Support yourself, whether you want to report the crime or not. If you are a relative or friend of someone who has been the victim of crime you may also be able to get help from Victim Support.

You can contact Cambridge Victim Support by telephone on 0800 781 6818 from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm Saturday, or via email at

You can contact their national Supportline by telephone on 08 08 16 89 111 from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 7pm weekends.

See more at:

Support available

  • Information about police procedures: Victim Support volunteers can go with you to the police station (and to court). They can also give you information about police and procedures, and let you know what to expect.
  • Help for witnesses: Victim Support runs a Witness Service in every Crown Court centre in England and Wales. The service provides support and information about the court process. Witness Services can arrange visits to the court so you can look round before the trial and can also find you somewhere quiet to wait before and during the hearing. You will receive the Witness Service leaflet ‘Going to Court’ whenever you are called to give evidence in the Crown Court.
  • Someone to talk to in confidence: Victim Support volunteers can visit people in their own homes, or can arrange to see you elsewhere. They are available to talk with and the help that they give is free and confidential.
  • Information about compensation and insurance: Volunteers can provide information about the different sorts of compensation available. Victim Support can also provide help with filling in insurance claim forms.
  • Links to other sources of help: For more information about the services and support Victim Support can provide throughout the UK visit the Victim Support website.

Supporting a friend

If you are friends with someone who has been raped, threatened or assaulted, often the best thing you can do is to listen to them. Let your friend tell you what happened in their own time and their own words. If they do not want to discuss it at all, make it clear that you are there to help if needed. Never try to force a conversation or bully them into reporting an incident to the police if they are unwilling to do so.

Supporting a friend can be difficult and upsetting, and you may like to chat with someone about your reactions. The JCR Welfare Officers and the University Counselling Service can provide confidential support.