Must you report a crime?

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Anyone can be a victim of a crime or see someone committing a crime. What are your responsibilities? Must you always report a crime?

 

No duty to report in most cases

Whether you’re a victim or a witness, you don’t have to call the police. Even if a loved one tells you about a crime, you’re not required to tell the police.

But be careful not to become a willing accomplice to the crime! It can be a crime to help someone else commit a crime, for example, by giving police false information or hiding evidence.

 

Exception when the victim is a child

You must report cases of sexual or physical abuse of a child to the Director of Youth Protection (DYP).

Some professionals and employees working with children, such as teachers, psychologists and employees in health care institutions, must report to the DYP any situation where the safety of a child or teen is at risk. This includes abandonment, negligence, psychological abuse or behaviour problems in addition to sexual or physical abuse.

 

Duty to help when someone’s life is in danger

If you see a crime being committed, the situation is urgent and someone’s life is in danger, you must help that person. You can help the person physically if possible, or call emergency services.

But you don’t have to help if your own life, or the lives of others, would be in danger.