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How to report a crime to the police and file a complaint

Reporting a crime

To report a crime, as a victim, and to file a complaint, contact the police department serving your city or region. You can also go directly to a police station.

If you need immediate assistance, call 911.

If you live abroad and want to report a crime committed in Québec, contact the police department serving the city where the incident occurred.

The police will record your testimony and conduct an investigation.

Your first meeting with the police

At the police station, you can state whether you prefer to talk to a male or a female police officer. The police will attempt to accommodate your request.

The police officer who interviews you will need certain specific information to complete an “incident report”. For example, you may be questioned about the situation you experienced, the names of the people involved and the place where the crime took place.

Once the incident report has been completed, you will receive a file number. You should keep it safely, since it will be useful if you need to get information about the progress of the police investigation.

Depending on the situation, your case may be assigned to an investigator, who may specialize in a particular type of crime. If this is the case, you will meet with the investigator on the same day or at another time to provide more details about the incident.

At the meeting you, or the investigator, will write down your version of the facts. This is known as “making a statement”. If your case is not immediately assigned to an investigator, you may be asked to complete a statement by a police officer.

Once you have made your statement, the investigator or police officer will ask you to read it through and then sign it.

Your statement can also be made in the form of a video recording.

Your statement to the police is part of the evidence gathered by the police. It may be used in court proceedings if charges are laid against the suspect.

Asking a close friend or relative to come with you when making a complaint

You may be accompanied by a close friend or relative, a person you trust or a caseworker when you report a crime at the police station. However, the person must wait outside the room while the police officer takes your statement.

The statement may be used in criminal proceedings, and the fact that another person was present when you made your statement could invalidate it.

You can receive support from the person accompanying you before and after you make your statement. If the person witnessed the crime of which you are the victim, the police may also take the person’s statement.

Crime committed in another region

If the crime was committed in a region that is not where you live, the case may be transferred to another police station once you have reported the crime.

Court proceedings generally take place in the region where the crime was committed.

Questions asked by the police

The fact that a police officer asks a lot of questions does not mean that he or she does not believe you. The work of the police is to gather as much information as possible about the incident.

A detailed statement facilitates the police investigation and the court process that follows. It can help the criminal and penal prosecuting attorney (the prosecutor) to determine whether there is enough evidence to lay charges.

Sometimes a detail that appears to you to be unimportant or irrelevant may be needed for the court process.

Services provided by crime victims assistance centres (CAVACs)

Caseworkers at crime victims assistance centres (CAVACs) This hyperlink will open in a new window. provide free, confidential services to crime victims.

You can contact a caseworker at the nearest CAVAC or call 1866 LE CAVAC (1-866-532‑2822).

Last update: January 10, 2024


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