Gathering evidence

Gathering evidence is an important part of solving a crime. When I file a report, I am triggering an investigation by either the police or the public prosecutor. In particular, it means that law enforcement authorities can take care of gathering evidence.

Nevertheless, there are still ways I can help the authorities with my own evidence. What’s important here is that in the immediate aftermath I do as little as possible to alter the scene of the crime so that the police can collect evidence.

  • In the case of criminal damage, I will take photos or call the police to gather evidence.
  • In the case of physical or sexual violence, I can document visible injuries by taking photos myself. It is important to seek medical attention. After being examined by a doctor at a GP surgery or hospital, I will be issued with a doctor’s note documenting the injuries I have suffered.
  • When gathering evidence of hate speech online (especially on social media platforms and in chat groups), I will make sure I take complete screenshots.

I can find information on crimes and hate on the internet here

Those who have experienced sexual violence often find it difficult to talk about and take action against what they have been through and experience feelings of shame. People who have experienced sexual violence are advised to go to an A&E in Munich for an initial medical examination where evidence can be collected in confidence. If requested, these medical examinations can also document and collect evidence and injuries.

While it might be difficult, it is important not to shower before the examination wherever possible. Most evidence can be collected within the first 72 hours. If I suspect that I have been given date rape drugs, I need to react quickly because many substances can no longer be identified after 6-12 hours.

A police report is not required for gathering evidence in confidence, i.e. it is possible to have evidence collected even if it is not yet clear whether or not I should file a police report. Doctors are generally required to observe doctor-patient confidentiality and the police cannot be informed without the explicit consent of the patient. By having evidence collected and archived in confidence, I can give myself time to think clearly about filing a report.

I can find information for women who have experienced sexual violence here

I can find information in case I am not ready to file a police report yet here