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There are different types of assault depending on the level of injury and intention to cause harm. However an assault can also take place even if no force is used - if someone threatens to assault you, but there is no physical violence, it could still be considered assault. Sometimes the assault is carried out by someone you know and this makes it hard to report. Some people often minimise their experience of being assaulted and either don’t report it to the police or change their mind during an investigation.

Here are the different categories of Assault:

Common assault is an act that is done intentionally or recklessly that causes a person to feel under immediate threat of injury or violence.  An example of this is a car being deliberately driven at a person in order to make them feel that they would be run over.

Battery is the application of unlawful force. This could be anything from a push or slap, to serious violence.

The maximum penalty for common assault/battery is 6 months imprisonment but the penalty will depend on factors including the offending history of the person committing the offence and their intention at the time of the assault.

More severe injuries will be considered as Actual Bodily Harm or Grievous Bodily Harm. The penalty for Actual Bodily Harm ranges from a fine to a maximum imprisonment of 5 years.

Report it

If you ever witness an assault taking place, you should dial 999 immediately.

To report an assault which has already happened, contact us.


I have been assaulted, what should I do?

If the incident has just taken place or you are in immediate danger call 999

Alternatively, if you are in no danger then report it to us.

Someone I know has been assaulted, what should I do?

You can report an assault on behalf of someone you know. 

Dial 999 if the incident has just taken place, the person has suffered serious injuries or if the person is in immediate danger.


I witnessed an assault and want to report it

If the incident has just taken place or you are in immediate danger call 999. 


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