Rights when making a complaint



Right be interviewed by the police without delay after the complaint

You should be be interviewed by the police without delay after you make your first complaint.

Right to be interviewed as few times as possible

You should be interviewed as few times as possible and only where strictly necessary for the investigation.

  • If there is more than one interview, it should be the same person interviewing you each time.
  • If you are the victim of a gender-based crime, sexual violence or a crime committed by your partner, you have a right to request the preferred gender of the person interviewing you. For example, you can say you would like a woman to interview you instead of a man.

Right to an interpreter or translator

If you do not speak fluent English, the police can provide an interpreter for you.

Right to a translated complaint

The note of your complaint should be translated into a language you understand

Right to have medical examinations only when strictly necessary

Right to have your individual protection needs assessed

  • You have the right to be protected during the investigation.
  • As part of their investigation, the police are required to carry out an assessment of the victim. Many factors are taken into consideration, the type of crime, the personal characteristics of the victim, and how vulnerable they may be to a repeat offence against them.

The assessment is carried out on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the victim to take into account their views.

You should be protected from being victimised all over again, from being intimidated, targeted for revenge or from being at risk of emotional or psychological harm.

  • It is the police’s job to decide whether there is anything they need to do or tell you about to:

1. Keep you and your family safe until the trial and

2. Make it easier for you to take part in the trial

If you need special measures, the police will try have a trained person interview you.

Right to have your property returned without delay

  • In some cases, your property may need to be taken away during an investigation. For example, your clothes, mobile phone or your car may be needed as they might contain evidence.
  • The police might want to keep these kinds of items to use as evidence in court. It is important to give these items to the police to help them with any investigation.
  • But this means they may have your property for example your phone for a long time. You can ask whether they can replace any property that you may need.
  • When the items are no longer required by the police, you are entitled to have the property returned as soon as possible.
  • In some cases, you might have to request the return of property in writing.

Right to be accompanied

You can take someone with you when being interviewed by the police. You can bring two people, a lawyer, a victim support worker or a person you trust (family or friend) to sit with you during the police interview.

The police may ask the person you have brought with you, even your lawyer, to step outside the room if they think this is in your best interests or if they think it would not be good for the investigation or any court case for that person to remain.

If this happens you are allowed to choose someone else to accompany you.

Some organisations provide a free garda (police) station accompaniment service for victims of crime. For example, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Rape Crisis Midwest, Rape Crisis North East, Mna Feasa victims of domestic violence and abuse in Cork).

Child victims
The police can arrange for someone to accompany you if you are a child victim (under the age of 18).

Where an appropriate adult has been appointed by the police, this person can remain with the victim during court procedures.

An “appropriate adult” could be:

  1. a relative or
  2. any person over the age of 18 years

Right to report a crime that occurred in another EU country

If you were the victim of a crime in another EU country, you can still report it to the Irish police. The police will send the details of your complaint to the other country.

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