Information for people reporting serious sexual assaults
What happens next?
Following your initial report to the police, the next step is to make a formal statement about what has happened to you. This may be written, or in the form of a visually recorded interview.
Signal Team - Specialist Rape Investigation Unit
The Signal Team is a group of specially trained police officers dedicated to dealing with serious sexual assaults. Your dedicated officer is a member of this team, and they will carry out all aspects of the investigation. If you are unsure about something, and your dedicated officer is not at work, another member of the team will hopefully be able to answer your question, or else can leave a message with your dedicated officer to call you back.
After you have completed your statement, the police will then investigate what happened, by talking to anyone who might have information. This can sometimes be quite a lengthy process, but your dedicated police officer will keep you informed of any progress, updating you at least every 28 days, if not more frequently.
When the police have completed their investigation, a file will be presented to the Crown Prosecution Service, who will decide whether there is enough evidence to charge the suspect. Again, you will be kept informed of this process by your dedicated police officer.
If the suspect is charged, this means there will be a court hearing, possibly resulting in a trial at crown court, at which you may be required to give evidence.