The police have the very important role of collaborating with the judges and the Public Prosecutor in the criminal proceedings:
• They inform the Public Prosecutor of all crimes that they become aware of, through complaints and reports they have received or because a police officer witnessed the crime.
• They take the necessary measures to preserve evidence of the crime, for example, by collecting all the objects that have been used to commit a crime.
• Investigate and collect evidence of the crime, examine the crime scene, question the victim, the defendant and the witnesses, obtain documents, request the collaboration of (link to 3:11), carry out searches and wiretapping/phone tapping, etc.
• Send the evidence collected to the Public Prosecutor so that they can decide whether or not it is enough to formally accuse the defendant.
• Participate in the trial, if the defendant is prosecuted. During the trial, they will be asked about what they did during the investigation, the facts they became aware of, and the evidence they collected.
In general, the crime investigation is conducted by one of three police forces:
• The Public Security Police (Polícia de Segurança Pública, PSP);
• The National Republican Guard (Guarda Nacional Republicana, GNR) ;
• The Judiciary Police (Polícia Judiciária, PJ);
The Judiciary Police investigates the most serious crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, sexual crimes, criminal association, terrorism, among others, and even more complex crimes, such as corruption, many economic crimes, cyber crimes, etc.
The PSP and GNR investigate all other crimes.
If you have already submitted a report or filed a complaint for the crime of which you were or are a victim, but want to provide further information or know more about the process, you should contact the police officer in charge of the investigation.
If at any time you are threatened, intimidated, or if you feel that you are in danger, you should tell the police about what is happening.