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First contact

Our first concern is your safety so if you contact us by phone, our call handler will stay on the line until a police officer arrives.

Trained officer

One of our specially trained female officers known as a SOTO  (Sexual Offence Trained Officer) will visit you wherever you feel most comfortable or, if more appropriate, take you to a special police building known as a sympathy suite where there is a comfortable room in which to talk.

The officer will accompany you at all times and explain the whole process but please don’t be afraid to ask questions. We’re here to help and can make arrangements for a friend or family member to be with you if you would like them to.

Your officer will now begin to ask questions about what has happened. It may feel as if you’re repeating yourself but this is to make sure we have as clear a picture as possible of what has happened.

Early evidence

Sometimes the officer may use what we call an early evidence kit. This is nothing to worry about, it’s just a small box containing a mouth swab and a pot to collect a urine sample in.

Evidence can be lost by brushing your teeth, eating, drinking or going to the toilet. The early evidence kit helps us collect this evidence quickly so you can use the toilet or have something to eat or drink.

First account

At this time your officer will take a more detailed account of what has happened which you will be asked to read and sign. We call this a first account.

Although initially you may find it embarrassing to discuss intimate details, our experienced officers will do their best to put you at ease.

It’s important to be truthful. No one will judge you if you had been drinking or taking drugs before the assault but it’s important to let the officer know as it may change the way the account is taken and alert officers that you could need urgent medical attention.

Never be frightened to ask questions, explain things in your own words or ask for a break if you feel you need one.

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