The first police officer on the scene must compile a scene statement. The complainant’s statement must be taken immediately, except if the complainant is injured and needs medical treatment. The police can still open a docket, even if the complainant cannot make a statement immediately.
If persons have been arrested, arrest statements must be taken and statements from eyewitnesses must also be taken immediately. All persons have the right to give their statement in their own language and to write it themselves.
- Police officers, however, know what important information is needed in the statement and thus the writing is normally left to them.
- The statement must contain the following: what, where, when, why and who.
- If a person feels that the officer’s statement is of a poor quality, he/she may refuse to sign it and ask that a detective or higher ranking officer rather take the statement.
- Persons giving statements must read everything that has been written down and agree with the content of the statement before signing it.
- Try not to give more than one statement. If the two statements do not agree, the person risks a charge of perjury.