What is it?
Criminal damage is the intentional and malicious damage to your home, property or vehicle by another person. Under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, a person commits criminal damage if they destroy or damage property owned by a third party, intend to destroy or damage such property and/or are reckless as to whether such property would be destroyed or damaged.
Arson involves intentionally starting a fire to damage or destroy property including buildings, land or personal possessions. The Criminal Damage Act states that criminal damage caused by a fire will be treated as arson.
How do I report it?
If you have been the victim of criminal damage you should report the matter to the police immediately – your information could help to solve multiple incidents and prevent other people from becoming a victim. If the criminal damage is in progress, dial 999 immediately. Other incidents of criminal damage should be reported via the non-emergency police number 101 or online.
What to expect?
The police may ask you to make a statement. To do this an officer will ask you a number of questions to find out exactly what happened. No crime is too trivial to report. What might appear to be a minor crime can still be very upsetting, particularly when it involves damage or loss to personal property – the Police understand this and will treat you sensitively.
The Police and Crime Commissioner funds organisations that provide support services for victims and witnesses in Derbyshire. These are free of charge and are available to anyone who lives in Derbyshire. For criminal damage and arson, these support services are provided by Derbyshire Victim Services.
Derbyshire Victim Services
If you have ever been the victim of crime, or have been affected by a crime committed against someone close to you, Derbyshire Victim Services can provide all the help and support you need. Their local team offers a friendly, free and confidential service to anyone living in Derbyshire. It doesn’t matter if you reported the crime to the Police or not they are here to help you with any practical advice and emotional support.
Below are a list of other organisations that may be able to provide advice and support:
CrimeStoppers is an independent charity helping law enforcement locate criminals and help solve crimes, through anonymous reporting. The site also provides crime prevention advice for a number of crimes.