Is There a Time Limit on Reporting a Crime?

Is There a Time Limit on Reporting a Crime?

Deciding whether to report a crime can be a difficult choice. If you’ve been the victim of a crime, you may need time to process before you can think about reporting it. Is there such a thing as waiting too long, though? Read on to find out more about the time limits on reporting a crime in Bermuda.

Is there a time limit on reporting a crime in Bermuda?

Most countries have a statute of limitations, which determines how long after an event it can be reported. Legal proceedings have to start by this date. It makes no difference when the case is adjourned, so long as it has started before the time limit is up.

The statute of limitations depends on what the event is. For many cases in Bermuda, the time limit to report is six years. This covers both contractual cases (cases in which a contract has been breached) and tort cases – those where the crime causes loss or harm.

Are there any exceptions?

While the statute of limitations for most cases is six years, there are a few exceptions. In cases concerning the recovery of land, or money from the sale of land, the maximum time limit is 20 years.

An exception is also made for crimes that could not reasonably have been discovered sooner, or when the victim is disabled.

For criminal acts, there is often no statute of limitations. For example, sexual assault has no statute of limitations.

What is the difference between a crime and a tort?

In order to understand the time limit on reporting a crime, it’s important to recognise the difference between a crime and a tort. This is because certain torts have a much shorter statute of limitations than crimes.

The law is designed to prevent people from being wronged and protect the safety of the general public. An act that breaks the law is called a crime, and it can be prosecuted by a federal court. Crimes include murder, sexual assault and fraud.

A tort infringes on another person’s rights, without necessarily threatening the general public. Victims bring forth the charges themselves. There are three categories of tort:

  • Negligence – where a duty has not been undertaken
  • Intentional harm – another person’s rights are deliberately violated
  • Strict liability

These cases are dealt with by the civil court. Common torts include defamation, invasion of privacy and identity theft.

Some things can be both a tort and a crime, in which case both a criminal conviction and personal restitution may be sought. However, the civil court may not accept these cases after the statute of limitations has passed.

Report crime anonymously

Crime Stoppers Bermuda is a charity that offers a way to report crime without revealing your identity. If you have a crime to report but don’t want the police to know who you are, our phone lines and online reporting system guarantee that your identity will be concealed.

Use our anonymous online form or phone 800-8477 to report a crime.

Crime Stoppers Bermuda 800-8477

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About Crime Stoppers Bermuda

We are a registered Bermuda charity (No. 410) helping law enforcement to locate criminals and help solve crimes. We have an anonymous 24-hour Hotline phone number, 800-8477 (TIPS), that people can call to pass on information about crime; alternatively people can send us information anonymously via our Anonymous Online Form. You don’t have to give your name or any of your personal details. We do not trace calls or track IP addresses.

Crime Stoppers Bermuda, P.O. Box HM 2711, Hamilton HM LX.

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