Reporting a crime - the criminal procedure begins by reporting a crime

A crime can be reported by e.g. the victim, a witness of the crime or a police. This can be done at any police station. Petty crimes, that do not require immediate action by the police, can be reported online. For example, bicycle theft is an example of a petty crime. To report a crime, you will need a detailed description of what has happened and who was involved, i.e. the crime suspects and victims of crime. If there were any witnesses, they also need to be informed to the police.

Crimes should be reported as soon as possible after the crime has happened.  The quicker the crime is reported, the quicker the police can begin their investigations. Reporting a crime can be done even if the offender is under 15 years old. A person younger than 15 years of age will not be held criminally liable in court, but he/she must compensate any caused damages.

If the crime has caused any injuries, it is important to visit a doctor as soon as possible. A medical certificate may be needed later in court, and both as evidence of the crime and for claiming compensation. If it is a case of sexual violence, you should not wash or change your clothes before visiting the doctor. If it is a case of burglary, nothing should be cleaned and the area should not be organised before the police have visited.

Almost all cases expire as crimes, which means that the suspect can no longer be charged for the crime. The limitation period of a crime varies between two years to twenty years. For example, an assault that is more serious than simple assault will expire in five years and aggravated assault will expire in twenty years.