When and How can I denounce someone?

A “denuncia” in Spain is a police report you make if you have been the victim of a crime or have witnessed a potential crime. There is a broad spectrum of crimes that can be reported, ranging from a misplaced passport, to a house break in, or a stolen vehicle, or a suspicion of someone distributing drugs. The most common crimes to be reported are thefts and lost documents.

The police will investigate and decide whether or not there is a criminal case to answer, or whether the case is a civil matter, in which case you would be advised to make the “denuncia” directly to a Court through a solicitor.

This service is not the appropriate one to settle your unhappiness with a tradesman’s work or if you have purchased a faulty product, for these cases there´s a trading standards office.

In certain cases such as domestic violence, even if the victim does not want to proceed, the police can continue with the case if they feel it is in the public interest to obtain a prosecution. Sadly many victims of domestic violence either live in fear of the aggressor or have learned to live with the abuse so the authorities sometimes have to take action on their behalf.

There are three ways to file a report, the first is to go in person to your nearest Guardia Civil barracks or National police station. We would recommend taking advice on how to word the report as even if the “denuncia” is only for an insurance claim for lost or stolen property, much can be lost in translation, which might result in a refusal of the Insurance company to pay out a genuine claim. You can also file a report online in English, then take the crime number to the office named in the report (usually the closest National Police station to your Spanish address) present the crime number, together with your I.D, within 24 hours, without the need for an appointment, they will print off your report for you to sign without the need for you to complete the whole report in front of the officer.

The third option is to file the report over the telephone to a National number, it is important to have all the necessary information to present the report, it is also important to note that you cannot file a report anonymously and should your report include the name of a person you suspect of committing an offense, the police are legally obliged to inform the suspect of the name and details of the person who made the report. So it is advisable to use a consultancy firm when making a report, so you have representation and guidance right from the beginning of your case.

Provided by Legal Eagle 

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