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Justice Process – Investigation

The purpose of the police investigation is to gather evidence to determine if a crime has been committed and if so, the identity of the person or people who are responsible.  The police have a responsibility to get as much information about the offence as possible.

The police investigation following the report of a crime will follow specific procedures that are set out by the police force involved.

Procedures of an investigation

  • Investigator will interview the Complainant (the person reporting the crime) and all other persons who may have knowledge about the incident
  • Investigator will interview the person accused of committing the crime where possible
  • Investigator will try to gather as much evidence as possible from the scene of the crime
  • Investigators should be made aware of any items or documents that might be of help to the police investigation as soon as possible such as a weapon

What happens for crimes like a sexual or physical assault?

After reporting to police, the complainant/victim of crimes such as a sexual assault may be:

  • Interviewed by a specially trained investigator
  • With the consent of the victim, the interview will take place at the police station or police facility and videotaped
  • In some provinces/territories the complainant can request to be interviewed by an officer of a particular gender.  This will be arranged where possible

The victim of a sexual assault also becomes a part of the crime scene.  Ideally, the police will be able to obtain evidence from the victim.  This can be done with the help of doctors and nurses at a hospital emergency department or a Sexual Assault Care Centre.  Evidence gathered at the hospital may include:

  • Making notes about any injuries
  • Taking photographs of injuries
  • Collecting physical evidence such as the clothes and medical evidence

When a crime involves a child, the police must report this to an agency that is responsible for protecting children, such as the Children’s Aid Society (CAS).  A worker from the CAS may be present when a child is interviewed.

» 1 Police Report » 2 « Investigation » 3 Arrest » 4 Bail » 5 Guilty Plea
» 6 Not Guilty Plea » 7 Plea Bargain » 8 Preliminary Hearing » 9 Trial » 10 Judgment
» 11 Sentencing » 12 Appeal