Naturally when the police speak with one they like to ask for one's name and date of birth. And one would probably expect the police reporting procedures as a matter of course to require date of birth and name as a prerequisite of accepting the crime report for example the metropolitan polices online crime reporting portal may well be programmed like this.

But what is the legal situation? Are they required to accept and look into a crime complaint/report made by a member of the public who declines to identify themselves?

  • 1
    On the other side of the pond we have anonymous tip lines for reports. I'll also say I've never been asked for my birthdate when calling. Interesting...
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 22, 2022 at 13:16
  • 3
    @JonCuster Here in the UK we have an independent body Crimestoppers that exist solely to provide an anonymous reporting mechanism Sep 22, 2022 at 13:22
  • 1
    If you can convince them that it is likely that a crime happened that they should investigate, then they should be investigating. Giving your identity makes it more convincing (you wouldn't make up nonsense if they know your identity), but there is no requirement. Well, if you accuse someone of rape because you're underage, it would make sense to ask your date of birth.
    – gnasher729
    Sep 22, 2022 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


Police are not required to “look into” any report

What the police choose to investigate is solely at their discretion irrespective of the number or quality of reports on the matter.

You do not have to give your name

You can report anonymously if you like. It does make investigation more difficult because the police cannot follow up for further information and may influence their decision on whether to investigate.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .