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UK victims

Interactive decision tree

Interactive decision tree

Please use our interactive tool to understand more about the criminal and civil justice systems and how the two systems can interact. It outlines the main steps, and has been specifically created with the individuals and smaller business victim in mind.

Please carefully read about the main differences between the criminal and civil justice systems before using the decision tree.

Criminal: public prosecution


You should report to Action Fraud (the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre) by calling 0300 123 2040 or by completing their online reporting tool. You will receive a written update on the status of your report within 28 days telling you whether the report has been sent to the local police force for consideration for investigation or not.

If you are a vulnerable victim (ie. aged under 18 years, have a physical disability or a mental disorder), or the crime is still on-going, money is at risk, or the suspect is locally known, then you should report the matter to the police by visiting a local police station or by calling 101. You should call 999 if you are in immediate danger. 

You will be given a police crime reference number.

You will also be asked whether you would like your details passed on to Victim Support, a national charity which offers free and confidential emotional support and practical help for those affected by crime.