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DECATUR TWP. POLICE
"If you are a Crime Victim"

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First, remember that you are not alone, over 80% of U.S. residents will be the victim of some sort of crime during their lifetime. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!

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What You Should Know About Your Case?

In all cases you should stay in contact with the Decatur Township Police. In cases where there is no physical evidence and no information about possible suspects, the police may not be able to successfully close the investigation. However, any new information must be given to the police for a more thorough investigation. Nationwide, only about one out of every five crimes investigated results in the arrest of a suspect. Even when an arrest has been made, less than 5% of the cases end up going to trial . The odds are you will probably never have to testify in criminal court. However you should prepare yourself for the possibility. Your cooperation and assistance is invaluable during the course of the investigation and prosecution.

You may have problems after the crime has occurred dealing with the reality of the crime. This is very normal. Everybody reacts differently, but most everyone finds it is helpful to talk with someone else about what happened. If you have questions, are having problems, or just need to talk to someone about what happened to you or a family member, please call one of the resources listed on the Victimís Resources Page.

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What If They Come Back? What If I Am Threatened?

The offender may try to contact you or return to the home. Any threats that are made to you or your children should be reported to the police immediately and could result in a separate arrest. Most victims and their famines feel unsafe after they have been victimized. By working with caring professionals and the Court, you can take positive actions to safeguard you and your family from further harm. Remember, whether you need to go to a safe shelter, obtain a Protection From Abuse Order,(PFA), or just learn about the latest crime prevention tips, help is available. It takes some time, but you will feel safe again. Recovering from a criminal act requires time and patience.

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This Has Never Happened To Me Before Where Do I Begin?

The first and most important step is to call the police. Talking about what happened may be difficult at first, and you may not understand why the officers have to ask so many difficult, and sometimes personal, questions. Try your best, remember you are our best source of information initially, and ultimately you will probably be our best evidence. If you have been physically hurt in any way, make sure to get medical attention immediately.

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What Are My Rights As A Victim in Pennsylvania?

Depending on the type of crime committed against you, you have rights under the law. However, they are subject to some provisions and are not Constitutionally guaranteed. New items may be added each year or changed in some way . Make sure to ask to speak with a victim's advocate who can explain your rights and how to exercise them. Ask how you can get information about: (1) the status of the case; (2) the release from custody of the defendant; (3) various court related rights; including, (a) making a statement about your losses, [if requesting restitution]); (b) accepting plea agreements to lesser charges; (c) notification of pretrial Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition,(ARD), applications; (d) making a statement to the Judge and the Court at sentencing. Victims of family violence, sexual assault, and children have special needs and there are additional safeguards and resources available to assist you. These crimes are difficult to deal with alone. Please take advantage of the services available to you.

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Pennsylvania's Victim Bill of Rights


As a victim of crime in Pennsylvania you have the following rights:
*To receive basic information concerning the services available to assist you.

*To be notified of certain significant actions and proceedings pertaining to your case, including, in personal injury crimes, the arrest of the suspect and/or the escape from police custody of the defendant.

*To be accompanied at all public criminal proceedings by a family member, a victim advocate or another person.

*In cases of personal injury crimes, (burglary, or driving under the influence involving bodily injury, etc.), to submit prior comment to the prosecutor's office on the potential reduction or dropping of any charge or changing of a plea.

*To offer prior comment, or to submit a written victim impact statement, for the judgeís consideration at sentencing.

*To recover your losses, to the extent possible, through restitution compensation under the crime victim's compensation program, and the return of property which was seized as evidence when it is no longer needed by the prosecutor.

*In personal injury crimes where the offender is sentenced to a state prison; to provide prior comment on, and to receive notice of, release decisions. And to be immediately notified if the offender escapes.

*In personal injury crimes where the offender is sentenced to a local correctional facility, to receive notice of release decisions and to be immediately notified if the offender escapes.

*To receive immediate notice of release on bail where the offender is committed to a local correctional facility for violation of a Protection From Abuse, (PFA) order.

*To receive notice when an offender is committed to a mental health facility from a state prison; and of the discharge, transfer or escape of the offender from the mental health facility.

*To have assistance in the preparation of, submission of, and follow-up on the final assistance claims to the Crime Victim's Compensation Board.

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Victim's Responsibility

In order for you to receive information and/or notice on matters concerning your case, you must provide a valid address and telephone number to the requesting agency. You are also responsible for providing timely notice of any changes in that information. The information that you provide is confidential and may not be disclosed to any person other than a representative of a law enforcement agency, prosecutor's office or correctional agency, without your prior written consent. The victim' s responsibility falls to the parent or legal guardian for child victims, and to surviving family member(s) in the case of a homicide.

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If you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact the Decatur Township Police at one of the telephone numbers provided. Or you may contact any of the aforementioned victimís resource services.

More Information:

When You Call 9 1 1
Non Emergency Calls
Local Calls to Police
Calling the Office
Mutual Aid Agreements
Victimís Resources Page
Back to our Homepage

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Links:


Our Favorite Links * We have created a seperate page with some of our favorite 'Public Safety Links'. Please check them out!*

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Email: decaturtpd(at)cji.net