Why should I report a crime?
If you are a victim of crime or, a witness to one, you should report this to An Garda Síochána as soon as possible. By sharing any information you have about a crime you can help An Garda Síochána solve crimes and potentially prevent future crimes from taking place.
We understand that there are occasions when you may find it difficult to report an incident, but be assured that during any criminal investigation we will listen, give guidance and support, and treat you with dignity and respect. If you have been involved in a serious or sensitive crime, we have specially trained staff who will understand your needs and look after any of your concerns.
How do I report an emergency?
Always call 112 or 999 in an emergency. An emergency is any incident which requires an immediate Garda response, for example:
- A danger to life
- Risk of serious injury
- Crime in progress or about to happen
- Offender still at scene or has just left.
What happens when I call 112 or 999?
Your call will be handled by trained call-takers. Remember when calling 112 or 999, ‘stay calm, stay focused and stay on the line’, and clearly state the emergency service you require. You may be required to give details such as your name, location and telephone number.
Child Sexual Abuse Reporting Phone Line:
An Garda Síochána launched a dedicated phone line for the reporting of child sexual abuse. The phone line number is 1800 555 222.
This confidential freephone line will be manned on a 24-hour basis, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
This is a freephone number meaning that there will be no cost to callers from calling this number.
An Garda Síochána encourages victims of child sexual abuse to report any such incident at the earliest opportunity including those incidents of an historical nature.
In conjunction with the launch of the phone line, An Garda Síochána has also published a guide on the options available to people wishing to report child sexual abuse and sexual crime. This guide is available here in Irish and English.
Is there an emergency SMS option?
Yes. The 112 SMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the Republic of Ireland send an SMS text message* to the Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS) where it will be passed to An Garda Síochána, the ambulance service, the Fire service, or the Irish Coastguard. The ECAS operator will act as a relay between the texter and the required emergency service.
Before you can use the 112 SMS service, you will need to register your mobile phone on www.112.ie. Remember that this is an Emergency Service and should only be used in an emergency i.e. life is at risk, crime or incident is happening now, anyone is in immediate danger.
*An SMS text message is a non real-time service and therefore there is no guarantee that your SMS will be delivered.
How do I report other crimes?
To report non emergency crime you can contact your local or any Garda Station. A Garda can also take a report of a crime from you in person in any station. Contact details of your local Garda Station should be readily to hand in both your home and place of work, and on speed dial on your home and mobile phones.
Telephone numbers for all Garda stations and key offices are available on the Garda website, click here
Can I report crime online?
NOTE: DO NOT USE THIS ONLINE DECLARATION IF:
- the incident is happening now
- an offender is still at the scene or nearby
- evidence has been left at the scene.
Do I have to give my name if I want to provide information about a crime?
No. You can give information relating to crime or other activities confidentially to a Garda Confidential Number 1800 666 111.
My crime happened abroad; where do I report the crime?
If you are in Ireland, you can report the crime to An Garda Síochána like you would report any other crime. Once a report has been taken from you. it will be forwarded to the appropriate police service.
My crime happened in Ireland but I have now returned to my own country. How do I report the crime?
You should report the crime to your local police service. Once a report has been taken from you it will be forwarded to An Garda Síochána for investigation.
Is there a reward for reporting crime?
Crimestoppers is a partnership between private industry and An Garda Síochána. It is aimed at people who have information on crime. It guarantees anonymity and offers cash rewards for information. The Crimestoppers freephone number 1800 25 00 25 is open from 9am until 9pm daily. Calls are answered by trained Gardaí and are dealt with in the strictest of confidence.
Can I report bad driving?
Members of the public can call Traffic Watch lo-call number1890 205 805 to report aggressive driver behaviour, driving hazards and traffic-related incidents. Calls are answered and logged by civilian personnel at the Garda Information Services Centre, Castlebar. The reported incident is then forwarded to the relevant Garda Station for investigation.
What issues don’t Gardaí deal with?
There are some issues that An Garda Síochána does not deal with as they may not be crimes, but members of the public are often not sure who else to contact. Having to deal with non-crime related incidents often puts a strain on both emergency call centres and, front line Gardaí, taking them away from the people who really need our services.
To help us to use our resources effectively, please contact your local council about the following issues:
- abandoned vehicles
- noise pollution
- illegal dumping
- stray dogs
- street lighting problems.
You can find the contact details for your local council by clicking here.
Who can help me with a non-crime question?
The Citizens Information Board is the statutory body which supports the provision of information, advice and advocacy on a broad range of public and social services. It provides the Citizens Information website, www.citizensinformation.ie and supports the voluntary network of Citizens Information Centres and the Citizens Information Phone Service 0761 07 4000.
What happens when I report a crime?
Whenever you report a crime to An Garda Síochána, whether you are a victim or a witness, we will ask you to:
• Provide as much information as you can about the offence;
• Tell us if you have any concerns about your (or your family’s safety), so we can give you appropriate advice;
• Provide your full address and contact details. This will allow us to update you with the progress of the investigation;
• Update us with any other changes- you may have noticed further losses or damage since you reported the offence, or you may be suffering further effects from an injury caused by the crime.
The investigating Garda will ask you to make a statement which s/he will write down and get you to sign. The matter will then be investigated by the Garda. If you are the victim of the crime you should subsequently receive a letter in the mail giving you the name of the investigating Garda, the PULSE (online system?? Currently states “computer”) number of the crime, the telephone number of the Garda Station, and the number for Crime Victims Helpline. After reporting the crime, your case will be investigated regardless of your gender, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, economic circumstances or membership of any minority group.
What happens next? - The Investigation Process
During the investigation stage, Gardaí will gather all available evidence, such as CCTV, fingerprints, or DNA and, in serious cases, a file will be prepared and submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). If a suspect is due to appear in court, we will:
• Tell you whether the accused is in custody or on bail and the conditions attached to the bail;
• Tell you the time, date and location of the court hearings;
• Explain the prosecution process involved;
• Tell you if you are likely to be called as a witness and if so, tell you about the help available from victim support organisations;
• Tell you when a judge may ask for a “victim impact statement”;
• Tell you about court expenses;
• Tell you the final outcome of the trial.
Please remember to inform Gardaí if your contact details change, quoting your PULSE incident number, so that we can keep you up to date on any developments. Gardaí are committed to addressing your needs and concerns in an understanding and problem-solving manner. The following links contain information that may assist you with any queries or requests for assistance you may have.
The Garda Charter “Working with our Communities”
The Garda Charter outlines 10 areas where An Garda Síochána is committed to working with the community to deliver a professional service.
The 10 areas are:
1. Our Values – Honesty, Accountability, Professionalism, Respect, Service and Empathy
2. Keeping Victims Updated
3. Arrange Public Meetings
4. Local Priorities
5. 999 Call Answering
6. Response Times
7. Community Policing
9. Diverse Communities
10. Customer Satisfaction
To view The Garda Charter in full, please click here.
Decision to prosecute or not to prosecute
Going to court
Post Sentencing and Coroner Service:
Irish Prison Service
If your case has gone to court and someone has received a prison sentence in relation to the case, the Irish Prison Service will provide assistance to victims of crime.
When victims of crime request it, the Prison Service Victim Liaison Officer will enter into direct contact with them to inform them of any significant development in the management of the perpetrator's sentence as well as any impending release. Such significant developments could include temporary releases, parole board hearings, prison transfers and expected release dates.
If you wish to avail of the Irish Prison Service Victim Liaison Service, the contact details are as follows:
Victim Liaison Officer
Irish Prison Service Headquarters
IDA Business Park
Telephone: (043) 33 35100
The Coroner Service is a network of coroners located throughout the country.
The core function of a coroner is to investigate sudden and unexplained deaths so that a death certificate can be issued. This is an important public service to the next-of-kin and friends of the deceased.
The purpose of the inquest is:
· To establish the facts surrounding the death;
· To place those facts on the public record;
· To make findings on (a) the identification of the deceased (b) the date and place of death and (c) the cause of death.
While the coroner or jury may make a general recommendation designed to prevent similar deaths, they do not decide who was at fault or whether there was a criminal offence.
The Coroner Service not only provides closure for those bereaved suddenly, but also performs a wider public service by identifying matters of public interest that can have life or death consequences.
Coroners appreciate that the procedures involved in their inquiries, though necessary, may involve upset and trauma for the next-of-kin and friends. Coroners will carry out their work as sensitively as possible and with respect for the deceased, next-of-kin and friends.
In some deaths, inquests are legally required. An inquest may be opened during an investigation but it cannot be concluded until after a court case is concluded or there is a decision made not to prosecute.
In other cases, the holding of an inquest is at the discretion of the coroner and the next-of-kin can make their views known to the coroner, if they so wish. An inquest is an inquiry held in public by a coroner, sometimes with a jury.
Where an inquest is held with a jury, it is the jury-members (not the coroner) who return the findings and verdict together with any rider or recommendation.
Most deaths reported to coroners do not require an inquest.
The coroner is independent in carrying out his or her duties. A review of the coroner’s decisions can only be made under the law. For example, a person can appeal to the High Court through a Judicial Review application.
Further information in relation to the overall service provided is available from the relevant coroner's office. Coroners are organised by district, usually according to the local authority. Names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses (where applicable) can be found in the Contacts section of this site or www.justice.ie. You can also make enquires to:
IDA Business Park
Telephone: (046) 9091323
Fax: (046) 9050560
After reporting a crime, every victim will receive a copy of the “Victim Information Leaflet” (VIL) which contains information about entitlements to access victim support, legal aid, compensation, interpretation, and witness expenses. The leaflet sets out the minimum standards on the rights, support and protection for victims of crime.
Victims will receive a range of information from first contact with An Garda Síochána including:
- which services provide support for victims
- the procedure for reporting a crime
- where any enquiries regarding the crime may be addressed
- what support and assistance a victim may be entitled to in the form of interpretation and translation
- the role of the victim in the criminal justice process
- what measures, procedures or arrangements are available to victims
- how and under what conditions a victim may obtain protection
- any scheme relating to compensation for injuries suffered as a result of a crime
- a victim’s right to give evidence or make submissions
- the procedures for making a complaint to the Garda Síochána, the Ombudsman Commission, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Courts Service, the Irish Prison Service
- the types of cases in which legal advice and legal aid may be available to a victim
- any entitlement to expenses arising from the participation of a victim in any proceedings relating to a crime.
The extent and detail of information offered to a victim will be determined by An Garda Síochána, and will depend on the nature of the alleged offence and any specific needs and personal circumstances of the victim which have been identified.
Victims will also receive information about their case, including a decision to end the investigation, not to prosecute and the final judgment (including the reasons for such decisions), and information on the time and place of the trial and the nature of the criminal charges.
The Garda Síochána Victims Charter provides information on what you can expect from An Garda Síochána if you are a victim of crime and takes into account both the support required and, the expectations of victims. To read An Garda Síochána's Victims Charter click here.
Garda Victim Service Offices
Garda Victim Service Offices are also an excellent source of additional information. 28 Garda Victim Service Offices have been established throughout the country, one in every Garda Division, demonstrating An Garda Síochána’s commitment to putting the victim at the heart of the investigation. These 28 offices ensure victims of crime are kept informed about the progress of their case and the support available to them.
The GVSO are the central point of contact for victims of crime and trauma in each Division and supplement the work already being undertaken by investigating members of An Garda Síochána.
The GVSO’s role is to keep victims informed of all significant developments associated with their case, as well as provide contact details for relevant support/counselling services. The offices are open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Victims of crime can choose between receiving contact from the offices by phone, letter or email.
The GVSO model is based on feedback received from victims and victim support organisations, results from our Public Attitude Survey, and victims’ experiences provided to the Garda Inspectorate.
The offices complement the range of measures already in place by An Garda Síochána to support victims of crime such as, the Victims Charter that sets the commitment to victims of crime, and specially trained Family Liaison Officers to liaise with victims of crime in serious cases.
Contact details for all the Garda Victim Service Offices are available by following this link.
Garda Family Liaison Officers (FLO) will be assigned to the family of a victim of murder, fatal road traffic collision or kidnapping and will be responsible for liaising with the family throughout the investigation. The FLO will provide timely and accurate information on the progress of the Garda investigation. They will also provide contact details of victim support organisations which are available to support victims and/or their families. If you require further information on the FLO service contact your local Garda Victim Service Office whose details are available by clicking here.
Garda Diversity Officers (GDO) are trained to provide specific support and advice to victims of racist incidents. If you report an incident of racism, the Gardaí will inform you of the designated Liaison Officer in your area. The Gardaí also provide a Liaison scheme for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community. Officers are trained to provide support to victims from the LGBT community and encourage reporting of homophobic crime.
Law and Policy
The European Union Directive 2012/29/EU, establishing minimum standards on the rights, supports and protection of victims of crime, aims to ensure that victims of crime receive appropriate information, support and protection and are able to participate in criminal proceedings. It requires that each country in the European Union (EU) shall ensure that victims are recognised and treated in a respectful, sensitive, tailored, professional and non-discriminatory manner, in all contacts with victim support, restorative justice services or, a competent authority, operating within the context of criminal proceedings. The rights set out in this Directive shall apply to victims in a non-discriminatory manner, including with respect to their residence status.
To ensure An Garda Síochána meets the requirements of the Directive, we use the following definitions:
- A ‘victim’ is:
(i) a natural person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by a criminal offence;
(ii) family members of a person whose death was directly caused by a criminal offence and who have suffered harm as a result of that person's death;
- 'family members' are:
the spouse, the person who is living with the victim in a committed intimate relationship, in a joint household and on a stable and continuous basis, the relatives in direct line, the siblings and the dependants of the victim;
- a 'child' is:
any person below 18 years of age.