Police interviewing me as a witness

(142 Posts)
JustPoppingToWaitrose Tue 18-May-21 09:19:11

AIBU for being really nervous?

I reported a crime online to my local police force. It wasn’t a serious crime, I doubt it would even attract a custodial sentence, but I felt that I needed to report it.

This morning, a police officer from a different force contacted me to ask for me to give a statement. He is travelling from another part of the country and told me that he needs approximately 3 hours with me to take the statement. Three hours!

Is it possible that my small crime is related to a much bigger one? I just think that’s a long time. Is this standard? Especially given he is coming from across the country to see me.

I am really nervous. I keep worrying that I have done something wrong. Although I know I haven’t, I am just anxious. Can anyone reassure me please?

Also, will he be allowed to drink tea, eat biscuits, etc? Should I offer him lunch? I have literally never even met a police officer.


OP’s posts: |
Seeline Tue 18-May-21 09:20:52

What sort of crime was it?

Policemen never seem to refuse tea and biscuits on the telly grin

JustPoppingToWaitrose Tue 18-May-21 09:22:13

@Seeline I was thinking of getting some doughnuts in but I don’t want him to think I’m taking the piss grin.

OP’s posts: |
Rainbowqueeen Tue 18-May-21 09:23:10

Op you have done nothing wrong
The time frame will be over exaggerated just to make sure he can get through the whole interview. When my DH did this the officer wrote it up there and then and had DH sign it. This was as a witness to a car accident where one driver was at fault. He asked lots of questions that we had not thought about eg was sun in your eyes, was there anything distracting you? This made it take longer.
You did the right thing in reporting it. I’m sure the interview will be fine

JustPoppingToWaitrose Tue 18-May-21 09:23:56

@Rainbowqueeen Thank you. I am so nervous.

OP’s posts: |
HilaryBriss Tue 18-May-21 09:24:14

Tea and biscuits will be fine, you definitely won't need to offer him lunch!

I have given statements before (as part of my job!) and none have ever taken 3 hours, maybe he is just being on the generous side and it won't really take that long?

It does sound like it could be linked to more serious crime though, if he is travelling that far to take a statement. Couldn't he just ask someone from your local force to do it?

Fyredraca Tue 18-May-21 09:24:21

I used to work with police a lot. Ime they never refuse tea and biscuits.
You will be fine, sounds like it must be something bigger that you are on the periphery of. Don't overthink, just tell what you saw.


JustPoppingToWaitrose Tue 18-May-21 09:26:17

Couldn't he just ask someone from your local force to do it?

From what I can gather, it was my local force who passed it onto his force. Maybe they’re a specialist team? I don’t know.

I don’t even know his rank or anything. He just signs his emails ‘Bob’, lol.

OP’s posts: |
sashh Tue 18-May-21 09:27:08

You can have a friend with you if you want.

My guess would be that the person you reported, or thee person they think committed the crime has committed a crime in the area the police officer is coming from.

I'd offer tea and biscuits as I would any other visitor.

MorningNinja Tue 18-May-21 09:28:34

The officer will ask you lots of questions about the incident and put it into a statement as it's your own words. You'll go through it together and then if you're happy you'll sign it.

Just make sure there is a place that they can sit, the tv is off, a window is open and an offer of tea/coffee is great.

Seeline Tue 18-May-21 09:28:47

Whatever you saw must be linked to something bigger for your local force to have sent it across the country. What was it?

whymewhyme Tue 18-May-21 09:28:52

At a guess I'd say the small crime you reported is linkedbto somthing bigger. Dont worry the police man will be fine and put you at ease. Tea and biscuits always go down well.

Piccalily19 Tue 18-May-21 09:39:54

Ive done this before and the statement taking did seem to take forever, probably not near 3 hours but they probably say that just in case. The alleged victim in what I saw didn’t even want to press charges.
I witnessed an incident that probably lasted about a minute but was asked things like how far away were you from the incident, how far away was person a from person b etc in quite thorough detail. I think they just have to ask ALL the details in case it ever goes to court.
Im the biggest wimp ever with breaking rules (as in the police scare me haha) and it was fine, relaxed chat (probably why it took so long), they typed on their laptop, they were in casual clothes too.

gamerchick Tue 18-May-21 09:43:30

Ah I hate giving statements. They take ruddy forever. Probably not 3 hours but it feels longer than that. Good luck.

ElphabaTWitch Tue 18-May-21 09:47:40

It’s probably linked to something already being dealt with elsewhere. Hence the travel involved. I reported something once and instead of local cops calling ( a stones throw away) they came from an hour away. You’ve nothing to worry about.

MaMaD1990 Tue 18-May-21 09:49:53

I wouldn't worry, they go into minute details for statements which is why it may take a while. Have some tea and biscuits waiting for Bob and it'll fly by. I would ask why the local police force have handed it over though...just to be a bit nosey!

Divebar2021 Tue 18-May-21 09:52:15

They can take a long time - I’ve done statements that take much longer than 3 hours. If he’s coming from elsewhere then I’d say it’s a series of crimes or linked to a larger investigation in some way. He could be a civilian employed just to take statements but it should say something on his email signature about his role.

Divebar2021 Tue 18-May-21 09:53:20

I think you’re fine with the biscuits but I wouldn’t offer the tea in a pig mug which happened to me once.

PiccalilliChilli Tue 18-May-21 09:54:10

I have done many, usually to do with crime on public transport. Yes, offer tea and biscuits! Try and remember everything you saw, make some notes in case you forget something when the officer is writing the statement. I get very anxious with new people so I write down even the tiniest details. They will ask you your full name, date of birth and where you were born. After a lot of questions (give facts, not opinions) and writing, you read what the officer has put down and if you agree you sign it and they say they will be in touch (though in my case they rarely do).

It sounds to me like your small report may be part of something much bigger. The officer might volunteer what that might be, but if it's a sensitive case then they probably won't.

You are a witness with some information they need so there is nothing for you to worry about.

JustPoppingToWaitrose Tue 18-May-21 09:54:22

@Divebar2021 He has a proper police email address with a number, but signs his emails ‘Bob’.

OP’s posts: |
BetterThanKleenex Tue 18-May-21 09:55:37

You can bring a friend and they can stay with you, the 3 hours is to make sure there's plenty of time- it may take half an hour or it could take 3, they just need to make sure you have the time set aside. Tea and biscuits is fine, maybe bring a glass of water in for yourself too. You won't need to make him lunch but if it does take that long and you're hungry, you can eat and offer him if you want. You'll be allowed to take breaks whenever you need.

It could be linked to a series of reports, the chances are they're just keeping tabs if its something thats happening a lot (e.g. dog thefts are big at the moment so lots of reports are taken seriously)

Hope it's okay, they do this so often they meet lots of nervous people so don't worry about being nervy. I'm sure he'll be nice, there's nothing to worry about.

JustPoppingToWaitrose Tue 18-May-21 09:57:40

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your replies.

OP’s posts: |
reallyreallyborednow Tue 18-May-21 10:00:58

He has a proper police email address with a number, but signs his emails ‘Bob’

Doesn’t he have an email signature?



Sgt Bob Smith 1234
East area CID
East Road

JorisBonson Tue 18-May-21 10:01:27

@JustPoppingToWaitrose I'm a police officer. I doubt it will take 3 hours but if it does, it does.

He'll just ask you to tell your story from beginning to end, he'll put it in the correct format, get you to read and either amend as necessary or sign if you're happy. You're bit being interviewed per se, you're giving a statement. You have nothing to worry about. If you want to take a break, pop to the loo of course you're allowed - you've done nothing wrong and are helping the police in their enquiries.

Tea and biccies never go amiss.

Good luck smile

JorisBonson Tue 18-May-21 10:02:12

And also, I sign my emails with my first name, especially for witnesses / victims. Just think it's a little less formal.

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