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How to Write a Police Report
Last Updated: February 24, 2022 Approved
This article was co-authored by Saul Jaeger, MS . Saul Jaeger is a Police Officer and Captain of the Mountain View, California Police Department (MVPD). Saul has over 17 years of experience as a patrol officer, field training officer, traffic officer, detective, hostage negotiator, and as the traffic unit’s sergeant and Public Information Officer for the MVPD. At the MVPD, in addition to commanding the Field Operations Division, Saul has also led the Communications Center (dispatch) and the Crisis Negotiation Team. He earned an MS in Emergency Services Management from the California State University, Long Beach in 2008 and a BS in Administration of Justice from the University of Phoenix in 2006. He also earned a Corporate Innovation LEAD Certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2018. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 12 testimonials and 83% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,065,229 times.
If you're a police officer or security guard, knowing how to write up a detailed and accurate report is important. A well written incident report gives a thorough account of what happened and sticks to the facts. If you're trying to write a police report, or are curious about how the police put together their reports, learning what to include and how to format the report is helpful.
- Try to do your write-up using word processing software. It will look neater and you'll be able to use spellcheck to polish it when you're finished. If you write your report by hand, print clearly instead of using cursive.
Saul Jaeger, MS
Did You Know? If you call 911, a police report may or may not be generated, depending on the outcome of the call. If a police report isn't generated and you want to file one later, you can call the non-emergency number, and an officer will come out and take the report. However, if you're ever in need of emergency services, call 911.
- If you can’t write the report on the day that the incident happened, record some notes about what happened to help you when you do write the report.
- The time, date and location of the incident (Be specific. Write the exact street address, etc.).
- Your name and ID number
- Names of other officers who were present
- For example, a report might say: On 8/23/10 at approximately 2340, officer was assigned to 17 Dist. response vehicle. Officer was notified via radio by central dispatch of a 911 call at 123 Maple Street. Officer was also informed by central dispatch that this 911 call may be domestic in nature.
Describing What Happened
- For example, an officer's report could say: Upon arrival, I observed a 40 year old white male, known as Johnny Doe, screaming and yelling at a 35 year old white female, known as Jane Doe, in the front lawn of 123 Maple Street. I separated both parties involved and conducted field interviews. I was told by Mr. Johnny that he had come home from work and discovered that dinner was not ready. He then stated that he became upset at his wife Mrs. Jane for not having the dinner ready for him.
- Use specific descriptions. For example, instead of saying "I found him inside and detained him," write something like, "I arrived at 2005 Everest Hill at 12:05. I walked to the house and knocked on the door. I tried the knob and found it to be unlocked..."
- Police officers often have to write reports about auto accidents. It can be much clearer to illustrate with a picture or a diagram how the accident occurred. You can draw a picture of the street and use arrows to show how where each car was headed when they hit each other.
- For example, instead of saying “when I arrived, his face was red,” you could say, “when I arrived, he was yelling, out of breath, his face was red, and he seemed angry.” The second example is better than the first because there are multiple reasons someone’s face is red, not just that they are angry.
- Even though it is hearsay, make sure to write down what each individual at the scene said to you. It may be important, even if he or she is lying. Include any information about the witness’ demeanor, in case what he or she told you becomes controversial.
- Use the party’s name when possible, so you can avoid confusion when talking about multiple people. Also, spell out abbreviations. For example, say “personal vehicle” instead of “P.O.V.” (personally owned vehicle), and “scene of the crime” instead of “code 11,” which is a police term for “on the scene.”
- Preserve your integrity and the institution you represent by telling the truth.
Editing Your Report
- For example, if you forget to include the one party's reason why the argument started, then that would leave a gap.
- For example, if you included phrases that start with "I feel" or "I believe," then you would want to remove these to eliminate any bias in your report.
- If you have to mail or email your report, follow up with a phone call within a 10 day period. Do this to make sure your report was received.
Sample Police Report and Things to Include
- Ask your department for any templates or forms that they use, in order to make sure the report is in the proper format. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
- Add to the report, if new information comes to light. Add an addendum that reports the new information, rather than deleting information from your original report. That information may also be important. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
- Keep a copy of the report for your records. You may need to refer back to it in the future. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
- Do not ignore facts as irrelevant. At the time of a preliminary police report, investigators may not know the motive or suspect, so it is important to give as much objective detail as possible. Some details that seem irrelevant, may be important with new evidence or testimony. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 35 Not Helpful 9
- Do not use opinions in a police report, unless you are asked to do so. A police report should be objective rather than subjective. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 16 Not Helpful 4
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://www.lapdonline.org/lapd_manual/
- ↑ http://www.securityguardtraininghq.com/how-to-write-a-detailed-incident-report/
About This Article
To write a police report, you should include the time, date, and location of the incident you're reporting, as well as your name and ID number and any other officers that were present. You should also include a thorough description of the incident, like what brought you to the scene and what happened when you arrived. If you're having trouble explaining something in words, draw a picture or diagram to help. Just remember to be as thorough, specific, and objective as possible. To learn what other important details you should include in a police report, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Why every police report needs a synopsis
The last thing a reader wants in a police report is a surprise
This article is part of a series, Report Writing for a New Generation: Merging Technology with Traditional Techniques , which covers general police report writing skills along with plain English instruction, professional and technical writing best practices, and how technology is changing the way officers write.
The series is exclusive content for Police1 members. Not a member? Register here. It is free and easy!
Nearly every police agency teaches their officers how to write a synopsis at the beginning of their police report, yet we rarely do. The synopsis is the most under-utilized section in a police report. This short, straightforward, one-paragraph section at the beginning of your report contains tons of helpful information that will be used by crime analysts, command staff and even reporters.
What is a synopsis
A synopsis is a simple statement at the beginning of a police report that answers the who, what, when, where, how and why. That is it. It is a simple summary of what happened in the investigation from start to finish. Even in large cases, a single well-written paragraph is enough. Anything longer than one paragraph is called an executive summary or explanatory intro, which is a topic for another day.
The synopsis alerts the reader to the most critical points in the police report and prepares the reader for what is to come, like a spoiler for a movie. You want the reader to know what the report is about before reading it. The last thing a reader wants in a police report is a surprise.
The complete history of a synopsis
Sometime after 1870, someone decided it would be a good idea to train officers to write police reports. However, most of the report writing training was only given to federal employees, leaving the state and municipal agencies to create their own training.
George Sollers, who recognized that state and municipal agencies also needed training, decided to write the first American report writing textbook, "The Policeman's Guide to Report Writing: An Aid to Police Officers in Preparing Reports." Sollers’ approach was a bit eccentric: no matter how severe or complicated the case, brevity trumped details. It was common at those times to have a one- to three-paragraph homicide investigation report.
Between 1916 and the 1930s, police report writing instruction remained stagnant – especially with patrol officer report writing (detectives received at least some report writing training). After World War II, a new field of study was introduced into the academic university systems: technical writing. This new academic field forced police agencies to adopt professional and technical writing principles into formal report writing training.
Around this same time, the Federal Government started gathering crime statistics. And by the 1940s, nearly all agencies had to participate in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) program. To make it easier for command staff to gather the information required by UCR, analysts created a concise summary at the beginning of the report of all the information they needed. This summary was called a synopsis.
Police administrators quickly realized a secondary use for the synopsis: daily crime briefs. Secretaries would copy an officer's synopsis directly into the daily crime brief instead of reading the entire report for the same information.
The use of a synopsis continued until the late 1980s when computers started to partially replace analysts. By the mid-1990s, the synopsis was almost completely abandoned, even though it was taught at the police academy. Luckily for the synopsis, William Bratton and Jack Maple created CompStat . Police agencies, once again, had to gather specific data for CompStat reports. And the easiest way to collect this data was through a well-written synopsis.
Future of the synopsis
Police agencies are moving into third-generation Report Management Systems (RMS 3.0). The RMS 3.0 systems are truly fascinating and packed full of time saver options, advanced analytics and Google-like search engine optimization (SEO) .
The synopsis is making a comeback in police reports. And with RMS 3.0, a synopsis will be required because of SEO-like crawling tools, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). RMS 3.0 can scan the synopsis, along with headings and other data points, to create a fully searchable police report.
A synopsis also makes it easier for your readers (analysts, detectives and sergeants) to find the information they need.
If you do not use a synopsis, please start.
How to write a synopsis
Writing a synopsis is easy. Your synopsis should always include what, where, when, where, how and sometimes why. It should also include general injuries, crucial evidence collection, weapons, or anything of immediate investigative value. Don’t worry, it sounds like a lot, but it really is simple.
Before we look at good examples from actual police reports, I want you to pay attention to the use of passive voice sentence structures. In a synopsis, it is preferred to use passive voice, so the reader focuses on what is essential: Dates, times, locations, arrests, injuries. ).
The dates, times, locations, and names on all the examples were changed for confidentiality.
- On January 5, 2010, at 1856 hours, Jeffery Jackson was arrested on (1) count of possession of methamphetamine (A.R.S. 13-3407A1) and (1) count of possession of drug paraphernalia (A.R.S. 13-3415A1) at 1600 S Longsman Rd, Phoenix, AZ (The Big Store). Jackson was transported to jail where he was booked on those charges. The methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were submitted into evidence.
- On February 16, 2018, at 0603 hours, Jeremy Anderson was arrested on (2) counts of aggravated assault (C.R.S. 18-3-202) for striking Jake and Sarah Guzman in the head with a metal baseball bat at 3205 N Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO. Jake and Sarah were taken to Memorial Hospital for treatment. Jeremy was transported to jail where he was booked on those charges. The bat was placed into evidence at headquarters.
Using a synopsis is important. The information in that small paragraph is vital for advanced searches, prepares the reader for what is to come and helps analysts gather the data they need for their reports. Work on summarizing your report in one very simple, easy-to-understand paragraph. Focus on the date, the time, the location, who did what and what happened to who, and you will do just fine.
Remember, report writing should not be hard. But just like anything we do in law enforcement, practice is key to making writing easier. Pick a few of these topics outlined in this article and apply them to your next report. Once you feel comfortable with one topic, move on to the next.
NEXT: 3 simple ways to instantly improve your report writing
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About the author
Joshua Lee is an active-duty police sergeant for the City of Mesa (Arizona) Police Department. Before promoting, Joshua served five years as a patrol officer and six years as a detective with the Organized Crime Section investigating civil asset forfeiture, white-collar financial crime, and cryptocurrency crimes.
Joshua is a cryptocurrency, money laundering and dark web consultant for banks, financial institutions and accountants. He also serves as one of Arizona’s subject matter experts on cryptocurrency crimes and money laundering.
Joshua holds a BA in Justice Studies, an MA in Legal Studies and an MA in Professional Writing. He has earned some of law enforcement’s top certifications, including the ACFE’s Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE), ACAMS Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and the IAFC’s Certified Cyber Crimes Investigator (CCCI).
Joshua is an adjunct professor at a large national university and a smaller regional college teaching law, criminal justice, government, technology, and English courses.
Contact Joshua Lee .
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15+ Free Police Report Template (Word, PDF) & How to Write It
A police report template is a template about a physical record document of an incident. The incident itself could be legal or illegal. The only policeman writes police reports or incident reports. It’s because writing this report has to be serious. This report involves legal procedures.
In addition, policeman writes a report after an accident or a crime. A police report has a certain or special template. There are many kinds of template for a police report. It depends on the incident that occurs.
The Police Report Template can be used for reporting crimes.
A police report template is an official document that law enforcement officers use in their investigations. The template contains a number of sections, including the officer’s name and contact information, the date and time of the crime, where it occurred, who was involved, and how much property was stolen or damaged.
Police Report Template
A police report template is a document that is used to furnish a written report of the events of an event relating to the law enforcement process.
The role of police reports in our society can be seen in many ways. From its use as evidence, to providing a public record of an incident, or simply used to assist in the investigation process. This document is also critical for businesses who need their employees to make reports about workplace violence and other matters related for reporting.
This template provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to fill out the necessary sections and fields for a police report. You can choose from four different versions depending on what type of information you need:
– Two pages
– Three pages
– Four pages
Blank Police Report Template
The Blank Police Report Template is a document that is used to report any criminal activity to law enforcement. The template has checklists on each page, with questions and instructions on how to fill them in. The blank report can be filled out in order to post it online, or if the information provided is confidential, then it can be filled out and sent via email.
Missing Person Police Report Template
The Missing Person Police Report Template has a basic layout with all necessary fields. This form is meant to be completed online, so it includes a place for the individual’s name, address, telephone number, and email address.
Police Accident Report Template
The Police Accident Report Template is a document used to report a traffic accident. The template is usually read by the officer in charge of the accident scene and forms part of their investigation.
Police Investigation Report Template
The Police Investigation Report (PIR) template is a tool that can be used by law enforcement agencies and companies to help in investigations.
The template is designed to be reproducible and easy to use, and because of this, it’s a popular choice for investigators. It contains information such as the date, time, location, suspects’ names, evidence collected in the case, and more.
The PIR template provides an effective way for law enforcement agencies to manage their information in one place. These templates are also helpful for companies who are looking for a way to make sure their employees are not inadvertently disclosing confidential information about their corporation.
The Police Investigation Report Template is an electronic tool which can be used by law enforcement agencies or companies who want a reproducible document that explains the basics of the investigation. It includes a summary of what led to the investigation, what questions are being asked, who is involved, and how long it will take.
Police Report Request Template
The police report template is a “form for requesting a copy of an incident report from the police in the United States. It is primarily intended for use by victims of domestic and sexual violence who are seeking evidence for their cases.”
The purpose of this template is to make it easier for people to file a request with police. It’s also very helpful because it provides specific information about what type of information should be included inside the request as well as what type of materials are not allowed to be part of the request.
The reason why there needs to be a specific form created was because not everybody knows what they need to include when filing this type of request. This makes it important that there is a form that people can follow so they don’t miss out on any important information or documents needed in order to
Police Report Template for Theft
The police report template for theft is a document that is created by law enforcement to document the occurrence of a crime and provide evidence for the investigation. The template includes information about the time and date of an event, potential witnesses, physical evidence, people’s names, etc.
Police Report Template PDF
The report is a PDF document that has templates for using with the Microsoft Office Word program. The templates are designed to help police officers complete their reports quickly and accurately. These templates can be used for any type of incident in which a report is needed, such as an accident, traffic stop, or breaking and entering.
Police Report Template Word
A police report is a written document that is composed after an individual has been the victim of a crime. It consists of the details of what happened, evidence that was gathered, and witness statements.
Fillable police report template
Many agencies use a fillable police report template. These templates have forms that can be filled out by you and your officers as well as notes to add additional information. It is important to note that these templates are not meant for official use, but they can be helpful in creating an initial report or supplementing a preexisting report with additional information.
Police report template google docs
The police report template google docs is a template where the author can fill in a form to generate a report based on different categories. The categories are not limited to just accidents, crimes and traffic violations. Instead, it can be used for any type of law enforcement purposes, such as missing person reports and civil issues.
The content of the police report template google docs is generated automatically by the document so that it is free of grammar errors and other mistakes. It does not require an internet connection so that the author can focus on other tasks while the document generates its content.
The police report template google docs is beneficial because it saves time when filling out forms or writing up reports. It also saves space because it only takes up a single page instead of multiple pages with different types of forms
Police report template for students
The police report template is a document that students are required to fill out when they are involved in an incident on campus. It is a mandatory form that has several sections and spaces for the student to write their information and give them a chance to explain the situation.
The first rule of filling out the police report is that you must not include any personal information about yourself or anyone else in your statement. This includes things like your name, address, phone number, and email address. The police have no reason to have this information and considering it could be used against you or others, it’s best not to give it away.
Police incident report template
A police incident report is a document that is filled out by law enforcement personnel, dispatchers or other first responders at the scene of an emergency in order to document what has happened.
An incident report template is typically a form that has pre-printed information and fields for the date, time, location and other relevant details of the emergency.
Identity theft police report template
Identity theft is the crime of stealing another person’s personal identifies, typically to use those identities to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can take place in person, online, or through mail. The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that over 10 million Americans have been victims of identity theft within the past year.
Pample police report template
A police report template is a document that can be used for the purpose of collecting information about a particular event. The template often includes the basic details of an incident, such as time, date, location and people involved. It may also contain some details about the incident that are not typically included in reports, such as the type or severity of injury or whether there was anyone else present at the scene before law enforcement arrived.
The report template mostly included the basics like description and use case to support law enforcement with their investigation.
Police report templates are typically used at crime scenes and during investigations to collect evidence and provide a more detailed account of what happened
Police arrest report template
This is the police arrest report template which is developed and maintained by the Victoria Police Department. The template is available for free on the department’s website.
The police arrest report template provides a comprehensive overview of what to expect from an investigation, who is involved, and what needs to be done next.
The use cases of AI writing tool are numerous as this can help in many areas such as customer relations, generating content, research work and more. There are different types of AI writing assistants like natural language generation which generates text that uses syntax similar to human language and machine learning which generates text based on data points given by humans.
5 Crucial Police Report Template Sections
The different sections of the police report are as follow.
Data Of The Incident Segment
This segment of the incident report tells about the type of alleged crime. The crime itself could be about rape, burglary, murder, etc. Another thing that should there in this segment is where the incident takes place.
In addition, date and time both of the incident and technical report are also there. The data of the incident is one of the important parts of the police report template. Most of the template have this segment. It’s a crucial thing in a template.
Reporting Party Segment
Another segment that always there in the incident report template is party segment. There is a reporting party which has an important role in the incident. This segment has detail information about the name, birthday, and complete address. Moreover, there is also nationality, social security number, and marital status.
The relationship between people in the party is important. Furthermore, even the wrongdoer is also included. The detail information about a victim, suspect or even a witness is there in this segment. Therefore, this party section segment is important to be there in a template.
Alleged Suspect Segment
The next segment is about the alleged suspect segment. In this section, there is some data about the suspect for the incident report. It is about how the suspect looks like. Usually, it’s about the description of the suspect itself. There is also other basic information about the suspect.
That information is like the name of the suspect, address, and birthday. There are also other things like marital status and job. This section is one of the important section if there is a suspect in the incident.
However, if the incident happens by itself then there is no suspect. At last, this section is no need. Take it for example if an accident because of the slippery road. There are only a victim and no suspect.
Not far from the previous segment above, this segment contains detail information about the victim. That information is about the name of the victim, marital status, and birthday. In addition, most importantly, there is also the address and social security number.
The social security number here is the number of the person who reports the incident. If the victim is more than one than the detail information is about those victims. This report is usually a police report template printable. It is to make the police easier in writing it manually.
This segment is one of the important parts of the police report. It’s because this section describes a whole story of the incidents. Why the incident could happen and how it happens. Therefore, in the narrative segment, the police write anything about the incident.
Police tell the story from the beginning to the end. Without this section, there is going to be no explanation about the incident. The data information about the victim, suspect, and party feel empty without this segment. In addition, this segment also tells about how many people involved.
Both police report template PDF and printable contain all the information above. They are related to one another. One segment or section cannot stand alone. It’s because all of them are connected.
Why Do You Need Police Report Templates?
Police report templates are a type of document that provides the specific information needed in a police report. The template is formatted in a way that makes it easy to read and understand. This can help reduce the stress of preparing the report, as well as make it more likely that the report is completed accurately.
The following are some of the functions and benefits associated with police report templates:
– They provide pre-formatted text that can be easily edited, saving time for both preparers and those who review and edit reports.
– They decrease the chance of human error by providing pre-formatted text, which eliminates spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and other issues with formatting.
– They provide clear guidelines for all officers to follow when preparing a police report so they can often be complex and time-consuming to create. A new system called Police Report Builder is changing the process by providing clear guidelines for all officers to follow when preparing a police report so they can avoid making mistakes that might jeopardize the case.
How to write a Police Report Templates
When you need to create a police report template, here are the steps you should take.
- Review the report templates provided by your jurisdiction or state’s department of law enforcement website
- Create a draft template that reflects your needs, interests and preference in word format
- Edit the draft and make changes to fit your needs
- Create an electronic copy of the final draft
- Find a reputable document scanning service that offers scans for free or at a low cost
Questions to Ask Yourself When Creating a New Police Incident Report Template
When you are creating a new police incident report template, ask yourself the following questions before you start:
-What information do your stakeholders need?
-What is your goal with this template?
-Is this template going to be used live or in a training session?
-Is this template going to be shared with other departments within the organization?
-How often does your department use these templates and what is the frequency of their use?
-Who will be filling out these reports and when will that happen?
-Are there any legal requirements for how these reports should be filled out, such as by law enforcement officers or by anyone else who is authorized to fill them out on behalf of someone else (such as personal assistants)?
Today, police report templates have become a necessity. They are used to document the actions of law enforcement officers during investigations. The legal implications that come with these reports also make them an essential part of the investigative process.
Before you start creating a new police incident report template, you should ask yourself some questions to help with planning. Those questions include: Do you need a new template for your department? What format will your template take? How many case types will it support? Will your templates require additional software?
When it comes to documenting evidence and preparing for an investigation, there is always going to be room for improvement. With that in mind, law enforcement agencies should adopt these new templates so they can reap the same benefits as other investigative agencies across the country.
With police report templates, you can save time, effort, and money by being able to come up with a report that has all the necessary information for law enforcement.
In conclusion, if you are a professional who needs to provide a police report or other type of document for law enforcement agencies, you should use these templates because it will save you time and effort.
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Professional report writing for law enforcement officers, type 1 sample report.
Most police reports can be organized into four types. This post deals with Type 1 reports. (For an overview of all four types of reports, click here .)
Here’s a sample Type 1 report:
At 5:22 p.m. on May 12, 2010, I was dispatched to 239 Carol Avenue regarding a theft. Lawrence Cooper (DOB 7-15-1987) reported that his son David’s bicycle had been stolen.
Cooper told me:
-David (DOB 11-04-2001) had brought the bicycle into the carport the evening before (May 11)
-the bicycle wasn’t locked
-the bicycle is a blue Sears boys’ bicycle with black tires and black handlebars
-the bicycle is three years old
David went to the carport after school to ride the bicycle. He saw the bicycle was missing. When his father came home, David told him that the bike had been stolen. Lawrence called the police at 5:20.
No one was home all day. Neither David nor Lawrence knows when the bicycle was stolen. They don’t remember whether it was in the carport this morning. They did not hear any unusual noises last night.
What makes it a Type 1 report?
The answer is that this is a “Just the facts, Ma’am” report. There’s no investigation (Type 2) or intervention (Type 3).
In a Type 1 report, you interview a witness or victim and write down the information – and you’re finished. You might write a Type 1 report after a citizen reports that her bicycle was stolen. Incident reports also fall into this category.
In this type of report, your narrative may be very brief because you don’t do an investigation or make an arrest. You simply record the facts.
Here’s a review of the characteristics of a Type 1 report:
Here are a few more comments:
- Notice that this report is written in clear, crisp sentences: “No one was home all day.” “Lawrence called the police at 5:20.” There’s no attempt to impress readers with police jargon or fancy sentences. Puffing up your report with unnecessary words (“The abovementioned victim,” “It was ascertained by this officer”) just wastes time and makes you sound pompous and silly.
- Notice also that this report includes a timesaving list:
-David (DOB 11-04-2005) had brought the bicycle into the carport the evening before (May 11)
-the bicycle is a blue Sears bicycle with black tires and black handlebars
You’ve been writing lists all your life! It makes sense to use a list when you have several pieces of related information. This is called bullet style , and it’s an efficient practice that smart officers use often.
Notice too that you don’t write your entire report in bullet style! Lists are useful for a series of facts, such as a description of a suspect or a list of stolen items. You can learn more about bullets at this link .
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38 thoughts on “ Type 1 Sample Report ”
I am considering law enforcement. This is very helpful, thank you.
You’re welcome! I’m so glad I was helpful. Best wishes for your future plans!
can i get an example for a written report too?
There are many sample reports posted on this website. I also provide links to actual police reports posted online.
Hi Jean, I couldn’t locate your links to actual police reports posted on line. Pls advise.
same here this really helped
I want a security report sample
can you send it to me please?
I would like to know why reports are not written in third person?
Third person reports have fallen by the way side. It’s an old practice, and not very many departments still use them. It’s easier to read and comprehend first person reports.
Well said, Jason! Thanks!
Hey Jean, how do I shorten my report, when I have several witnesses with the same testimony? Thanks for your assistance in this matter
Is there an age limit to law enforcement ?
Check with the agency to see if they have age limits.
Hello Jean, This is a fantastic site. I am from the UK, and I am currently going through the selection process to become a police officer. One of the activities I need to do is to write an incident report and this has been a massive help to me.
I was wondering if you could give me some advice? The incident report I have to write, will need to be written based on a series of fictitious memos and emails. I have 30 minutes to complete this report and It’s likely I will be dealing with four different accounts of what happened. I am trying to find a structure that I can work with that will allow me pass this part of the recruitment process. I am really worried about this, and could do with some good advice. I have an example of what I have to do if that helps?
See my comment below. You can also send me the sample you mentioned: jreynoldswrite @ aol.com.
SAMPLE REPORT: ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE
Brief Detail: Type of incident: Robbery with violence Reported to: UNPOL base 3 Monrovia 3rd June 2008 at 15:30 hrs Reported by: Mr. Mirandas Main Report: On the 3rd June 2008 at 15:30 hrs, a man by the name of Mr. Mirandas called into UNPOL base 3 in Monrovia and asked to speak to a duty officer. He was shown into interview room 5 where duty officer James Colan took an interview with him. Mr. Mirandas stated that his wife had been the victim of a serious robbery and assault one hour earlier in the electric store he owns at 45 Bridge Street. The duty officer asked him to explain what had happened. Mr. Mirandas stated that he opened his shop late 14:00 hrs that day as he had to take his two children to the doctors in the, morning. He said that his wife had come to the store to help him with account keeping as he needed to pay his tax returns by the 8th June. At 14:30 hrs he left his wife alone in the shop as he wanted to go to the tax officer near his shop at G R458322 task for a form 456 that he needed to fill in. he stayed at the tax officer for ten minutes and when he returned to his shop at 14:50 hrs his wife was laying on the floor, she had a head injury but she was not seriously injured. He called the local hospital and she was transported to the people’s clinic GR398211 for further treatment. He then came immediately to the base to report the incident. The duty officer asked him for further details. He said that when he left his wife she was serving two customers, both were well dressed in blue suits and they said they wanted to buy some mobile phones for the new business they had started supplying combat uniforms for the Army. When he returned to the shop after going to the tax office his wife confirmed that the men who attacked her were the same men. The officer asked if her could provide any further details of the suspects. He said that both the men were large: one was around 185 cms and the other around 180 cms; the taller man had a beard Mr. Mrindas stated that his wife was probably more able to give details of the men after she had recovered. He also stated at this stage he had not checked his stock but he noticed that the $500 that was in the till was missing. The police asked him to go back to his shop and record all missing items from his store , they also took a contact number from him it was 487665 and asked him to contact them when his wife was fit enough to provide more information. At 16:30 hrs Mr. Miranda contacted the base to inform the duty that his wife was being discharged from the clinic at 18:00 hrs that day. The duty officers said he would contact him later day to arrange to interview her.
You’re an excellent writer! The big issue I think you should deal with is inefficiency. Police officers are busy. Omit words that are just empty fillers. You don’t need to say “by the name of.” Omit “the duty officer asked,” “The officer asked if her could provide any further details of the suspects” and similar statements. Just record what the suspect said. The purpose of a report is to record facts that will be useful for an investigation and possible prosecution. The duty officer’s questions just waste time and won’t be useful later.
Thank you for the feedback, Adrian! I’m so glad you’re finding the website useful. The assignment you’ll be doing sounds complex. My best advice is for you to write a separate paragraph for each of the four accounts. Don’t try to blend them. Every agency is slightly different, and I’m not sure what yours will be looking for (especially since you’re in the UK!). My other advice is for you to download and study the chart about the four types of police reports. When you sit down to write your report, try to place it in a category first (1, 2, 3, or 4). That way you’ll know what essential features you need to think about. (For example, Type 4 requires probable cause.) Good luck! https://www.scribd.com/doc/233662728/four-types-of-police-reports
can you please help me with our assignment? we need to trnslate filipino terms in english I have translated it already thpugh i think its really funny
1. the tricycle was thrown away 2. the car flipped over 3. Bathing in his out blood 4. the goat was taken away 5. Msr. x scolded the driver
can you please revise them fopr me in most appropriate english terms for report writing
Can anybody help me out with Police Investigation Report on Assault
This was great , thank you
I’m glad you found it helpful!
Help me with my assignment A group of students broke into the office of the vice chancellor and looted Gh¢5,000.A committee was set up to investigate the matter. As a secretary to the committee, write your report
You’ll find many resources here to help you write your report, Kwaku! I’m sorry that we don’t offer a homework service.
My name is Sakhr from Jordan. I want to ask you if you can help me with writing a report about CLA exam. The report should be like a police report. I attached a link to see the story:
Thank you so much
Hi ma’am. I am considering law enforcement as career and preparing for police entrance exam. But I am facing little problems while writing reports. I have written some reports but not sure if those are good enough to pass the exam. Is it possible somehow that I can send you reports written by me so you would mark the mistakes. I ll be really thankful.
hi I had a iPhone 7 plus stolen from me basically I was on the train I had my iPhone then suddenly I looked in my pocket someone had taken my phone from me. we tried to ring it but someone cut the call of so can you look for it but we could not. we all looked in Hainaut station nothing was there I asked Chigwell station they nothing has been handed in
This is a website to help recruits and officers write better police reports. It’s not a law enforcement website.
I am thinking about going into the law enforcement field and this was very helpful to me. Thank you so much.
I’m so pleased that my materials have been helpful! Best wishes for success.
My former employee accused me of fruding him of 2m and I want to write a statement to the police informing them about the problem But I don’t know how to write a police statement
Can someone help me I have been told to investigate into the raphant pilferage in my department and to write a report making necessary recommendations…..about 5 pages….jean I need your help thanks in anticipation
Im try ing to rewrite this for my criminal report class. Mandy Johnson Report Writing CJ-024-6012 J. Cunningham 11-27-21 Murder report Rusty C. Victor Case# 42616
On saturday november27,2021,You and your partner, Officer Maria Sanchez (unit 125), are dispatched at 11:45 p.m. to a domestic dispute in progress and possible shots fired. The address is 1210 Gentry Boulevard, 37115. Upon arrival, at 11:51 p.m., you see the front door wide open. You and your partner approach the house and enter the home. There is a white male lying on the floor with a large pool of blood next to him. Officer Sanchez checks for signs of life, but the man is dead. Death appears to be from multiple gun shots. There is a handgun lying near the victim, and several spent shell casings lying on the floor. You notify dispatch that additional personnel are needed and then you and your partner continue checking the home. You do not find anyone else in the home. Officer Sanchez gets police tape from the squad car and begins to place that around the outside perimeter of the home. You get a crime scene log so you can begin to log who will be entering and exiting the scene. Other officers begin to arrive, as do medical personnel. Paramedics Darrington and Wells, from Nashville Fire Department, arrive at 12:10 a.m. They verify that the person is deceased. The victim received multiple wounds, and they agree that he was most likely shot. Your shift commander, Lieutenant McVicker, arrives at 12:15 a.m., and investigates the scene as well. The paramedics leave the scene at 12:17 a.m. Crime Scene Investigator Paulson (#186) arrives at 12:35 a.m. He takes pictures of the scene, begins taking notes, and asks you to take custody of the gun and shell casings once he has tagged them. Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Paulson tags the gun in an evidence bag and the 6 shell casings in another. The CSI gives you the victim’s wallet, which was located in the victim’s back left pants pocket. A Tennessee Driver’s license, which has a picture resembling the victim, has his name listed as Rusty C. Victor, with a DOB of January 17, 1972. The address on the license comes back to the home you are in. The coroner, Jay Albert, arrives on scene at 12:50 a.m. A few minutes later he officially declares the victim deceased and prepares the victim for transport. Officer Sanchez tells you there is a female witness outside the crime scene tape who wants to talk about what happened, and says she knows you. You give Officer Sanchez the crime scene log and go out to meet the woman. You recognize the witness, Louis Miller, because you have arrested her before for possession of a controlled substance. She has also been a confidential informant for you in the past. Louis states she knows who killed Rusty. She says that she lives across the street, and has known Rusty for a long time. She heard several gunshots, and when she went to look out her front window she saw the victim’s ex-girlfriend running from the house, get into her car and take off. The suspect’s name is Juliette Monrovia. Louis tells you that they had a very rocky relationship, and had broken up about a month ago, but she didn’t know why. You ask if she can identify the suspect, which she can. The suspect is Hispanic, around five-foot-five, one hundred pounds, with long brown hair. She drives a small black Ford Ranger, which is an older one. Louis does not know the license plate information. You notify dispatch of the information and go back to the crime scene and advise your partner and lieutenant of the situation. Your lieutenant tells you to take the evidence back to headquarters and log it in, and then to see if you can find out more about the suspect. He has another officer, Bill Harris #321, take over the crime scene log. You and your partner take the gun, a Ruger P89, .9mm, and six, .9mm shell casings, and return to headquarters where the items are logged into the evidence room. Lieutenant McVicker contacts you on your cell phone and says that he may have an address on the suspect, which was located while searching the victim’s residence. You and your partner drive to 7446 Abbott Road in Nashville, which is believed to be the suspect’s house. Upon arrival, an 1:45 a.m., you and your partner knock on the front door. A woman matching the suspect’s description answers the door. You ask if her name is Juliette Monrovia and she tells you it is. You also see some red specks on her blue t-shirt that you believe to be blood. You ask if her ex-boyfriend is Rusty Victor. She doesn’t answer you. You ask again and she says, “What if he is?” You tell her he was killed tonight and ask if she knows what may have happened. She does not react to your statement other than saying, “Well, I guess he got what he had coming to him.” She then proceeds to slam the front door shut. Your partner is able to stop the door from closing and you both push it open, forcing your way in. The suspect begins yelling at you to get out of her house, and starts throwing things at you, including a nearby lamp, which barely misses you and your partner. You both give verbal commands for her to stop and put her hands up, which she does not do. She retreats to the kitchen area and begins throwing dinner plates at you. Then she comes out of the kitchen with a large butcher knife. Your partner tells her to drop the knife, which she does not do. She continues to walk towards you, screaming, “He fucking got what he deserved, leaving me for her! I hope he is dead, I shot him enough times he should be!” You Taser the suspect as she approaches you, causing her to fall to the ground. Your partner quickly handcuffs her while you secure the knife. A few minutes later you read the suspect her rights, and during a pat down search of her person incident to arrest, you find five .9mm bullets in her left from pants pocket. The suspect’s date of birth is 2-14-68 and she lives at the address where you found her. You arrest her on suspicion of murder and transport her to jail. She does not make any other statements to you during the ride to jail. You return to service at 2:52 a.m. Instructions Write an incident report about what happened. Use your name as the Nashville Police Officer and today’s date for this report. You were working in district 12 and your case number is 42,614. Your report must be Times New Roman font, 12 point, double spaced, and consistent with the MLA format. Your report should be 1,400 to 1,600 words for full credit. Submit your report to your professor before the due date.
Report Writing CJ-024-6012
Murder report Rusty C. Victor
On Saturday November,2021,Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson (unit 125), are dispatched at 11:45 p.m. to a domestic dispute in progress and possible shots fired. The address is 1210 Gentry Boulevard, Nashville ,tn 37115.
Upon arrival, at 11:51 p.m., you see the front door wide open. Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson approach the house and enter the home. There is a white male lying on the floor with a large pool of blood next to him. Officer Sanchez checks for signs of life, but the man is dead.
Death appears to be from multiple gunshots. There is a handgun lying near the victim, and several spent shell casings lying on the floor. Officer Mandy Johnson notified dispatch that additional personnel was needed and then Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson continued checking the home. officer Mandy Johnson doesn’t find anyone else in the home. Officer Sanchez gets police tape from the squad car and begins to place that around the outside
the perimeter of the home.
Officer Johnson gets a crime scene log so you can begin to log who will be entering and exiting the scene. Other officers begin to arrive, as do medical personnel. Paramedics Darrington and Wells, from Nashville Fire Department, arrived at 12:10 a.m. They verify that rusty c Victor is deceased. The victim received multiple wounds, and they agree that he was most likely shot.
my shift commander, Lieutenant McVicker, arrives at 12:15 a.m. and investigates the scene as well. The paramedics leave the scene at 12:17 a.m. Crime Scene Investigator Paulson (#186) arrives at 12:35 a.m. He takes pictures of the scene, begins taking notes, and asks me to take custody of the gun and shell casings once he has tagged them. Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Paulson tags the gun in an evidence bag and the 6 shell casings in another. The CSI gives me the victim’s wallet, which was located in the victim’s back left pants pocket. A Tennessee Driver’s license, which has a picture resembling the victim, has his name listed as Rusty C. Victor, with a DOB of January 17, 1972. The address on the license comes back to 1210 Gentry Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37115.
The coroner, Jay Albert, arrives on the scene at 12:50 a.m. A few minutes later he officially declares the victim deceased and prepares the victim for transport. Officer Sanchez tells me there is a female witness outside the crime scene tape who wants to talk about what happened and says she knows me. I give Officer Sanchez the crime scene log and go out to meet the woman. I recognize the witness, Louis Miller because I have arrested her before for possession of a controlled substance. She has also been a confidential informant for me in the past. Louis states
she knows who killed Rusty. She says that she lives across the street, and has known Rusty for a long time. She heard several gunshots, and when she went to look out her front window she saw the victim’s ex-girlfriend running from the house, getting into her car, and taking off. The suspect’s name is Juliette Monrovia. Louis tells me that they had a very rocky relationship, and had broken up about a month ago, but she didn’t know why. I ask if she can identify the suspect, which she can. The suspect is Hispanic, around five-foot-five, one hundred pounds, with long brown hair. She drives a small black Ford Ranger, which is an older one. Louis does not know the license plate information. I notify dispatch of the information and go back to the crime scene and advice Officer Maria Sanchez and the lieutenant of the situation. the lieutenant tells me to take the evidence back to headquarters and log it in, and then to see if i can find out more about the suspect. He has another officer, Bill Harris #321, take over the crime scene log. Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson take the gun, a Ruger P89, .9mm, and six, .9mm shell casings, and return to headquarters where the items are logged into the evidence room. Lieutenant McVicker contacts me on your cell phone and says that he may have an address on the suspect, which was located while searching the victim’s residence. Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson drive to 7446 Abbott Road in Nashville, which is believed to be the suspect’s house. Upon arrival, at 1:45 a.m., Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson knock on the front door. A woman matching the suspect’s description answers the door. I ask if her name is Juliette Monrovia and she tells me it is. I also see some red specks on her blue t-shirt that you believe to be blood. I ask if her ex-boyfriend is Rusty Victor. She doesn’t answer me. I ask again and she says, “What if he is?” I tell her he was killed tonight and ask if she knows what may have happened. She does not react to my statement other than saying, “Well, I
guess he got what he had coming to him.” She then proceeds to slam the front door shut. Officer Maria Sanchez is able to stop the door from closing and you both push it open, forcing our way in. The suspect begins yelling at Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson to get out of her house and starts throwing things at me, including a nearby lamp, which barely misses Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson. We both give verbal commands for her to stop and put her hands up, which she does not do. She retreats to the kitchen area and begins throwing dinner plates at us. Then she comes out of the kitchen with a large butcher knife. Officer Maria Sanchez tells her to drop the knife, which she does not do. She continues to walk towards us, screaming, “He fucking got what he deserved, leaving me for her! I hope he is dead, I shot him enough times he should be!” I Taser the suspect as she approaches me, causing her to fall to the ground. Officer Maria Sanchez quickly handcuffs her while I secure the knife. A few minutes later I read the suspect her rights, and during a pat-down search of her personal incident to arrest, I found five .9mm bullets in her left from pants pocket. The suspect’s date of birth is 2-14-68 and she lives at 7446 Abbott Road in Nashville. I arrest her on suspicion of murder and transport her to jail. She does not make any other statements to me during the ride to jail. , Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson (unit 125) return to service at 2:52 a.m.
Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.
Yes, I get a great deal of spam! I use Wordfence Security and Bulletproof Security.
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How To Write A Proper Police Report
Don't miss, what handcuffs do police use, does a police report go on your record, how can i see my police report, how do i get my police report, how to get insurance information from police report, what education is required to be a police officer, what qualifications do you need to become a police officer, how to be a police officer in gta, bonus content: how to train your ear to catch writing mistakes.
If you spend time training your ear for writing, you will catch even more mistakes. An excellent way to train your ear for good sentence structure and grammar is to read good literature aloud. I recommend The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov not because it is an enjoyable read but because his sentences are as close to perfect as they come, and he really focuses on the sound of a sentence. Read one page a day aloud. Ignore the content, just listen to the words and sounds. Your mind will automatically notice sentence parallelism, assonance, rhythm and alliteration all critical features of a good sentence. When you read your police report aloud, your ear will suddenly pick up the smaller mistakes in your writing.
Lost Property Report Template
Users may download these formats with immense ease. They can use these formats in the process of making a general structure of a complaint register. These templates have a super responsive feature and a great resolution range. The templates are very easily navigable. The user may make changes and feed in information as per requirement. They can come in the form of word doc or a PDF. You may also see Report Formats .
Use Spelling And Grammar Checkers
Over the past five years, I have read thousands of police reports from around the United States. Many of these reports are packed full of simple grammar and spelling mistakes that a word processors spellcheck would have caught.
I know that many of these agencies, including mine, use Microsoft Word’s spellcheck feature. So why do we continue making basic spelling and grammar mistakes? I decided to do some digging, and each time I read an exceptionally bad report, I called the agency, not to complain or call them out, but to ask questions. I found that most poorly written reports from 2010 to the present day share three traits:
- The officer wrote the report directly in the agencys records management system
- The officer did not configure spellcheck or,
- The officer wrote in UPPERCASE.
RMS spell checkers are improving, especially in the new AI integrated RMS 3.0 versions. But as of right now, even the most basic version of Microsoft’s Word spellcheck outperforms any RMS spellchecker. Try to write your report in a word processor first, then copy and paste it into your agency’s RMS.
Also Check: How To Get A Police Report Online California
After Signing The Witness Statement
The police may take you to the scene of the crime if they need to ask further questions. Also, if you do not know the person you saw commit the crime, you may be asked to pick out the person from a line up of people, describe what the person looked like to an artist or look through photographs .
Also, if you had any injuries, the police may take pictures so your injuries can be used as evidence later. If you do have injuries, you may wish to visit the victim of crime section.
Points Of View In Police Reports
Depending on the situation, you may either be a person working in law enforcement required to write police reports or a civilian made to file a report at a police station. In both instances, they require providing and documenting information about an untoward incident or a crime.
Law Enforcer: Victim: Suspect: Witness:
Recommended Reading: Am I Under Investigation By Police
You Can Also Go Online To File A Supplemental Report
File a supplemental report if you want to add information to your original report or to a report that has previously been filed by an SFPD officer. To file a supplemental police report, click on the “File a Police Report” link above, select the appropriate incident type, follow the prompted questions, and select ‘supplemental report’ when prompted.
Use the supplemental report method to report:
- Additional property losses from the same crime
- Additional details to describe stolen property, such as a serial number.
When you have finished entering your report, a temporary report will be emailed to you. This report will not be official until it is approved. Once that happens, we will email you an official copy.
Basic Factual Information In A Police Report
Your police report is going to have labeled information fields for you to list basic factual information. Those fields are there for a purpose other than balancing the graphic design of the report. Youll work with officers who think N/A, none, and slash / marks should fill the majority of these fields. The completeness and accuracy of basic factual information is important for a host of reasons including making you look competent.
For example: Follow-up contact with a victim is important. Your victim tells you he has no telephone. Before you write in that box, ask for a relatives or friends number through which the victim be contacted. Ninety-nine percent of the time your victim will be able to provide you with a phone number.
Also Check: How Do You Fix An Incorrect Police Report
Include An Action Item Or Status
This is for law enforcers who are tasked to respond to various complaints and reports. A report may indicate the action that was taken or is yet to be taken. For a systematic and efficient process, a police report or investigation may be labeled as on-going, closed or pending. Documentation is important in any organizational process this also makes it easier for authorities to prioritize reports and records.
Information To Include In Your Witness Statement
If you decide to report the crime to the police, they will need all the details you can remember. The police will ask you questions including:
- Your name, address and contact number
- The exact time and location where the crime took place
- Names and addresses of the people involved, if you know them
- A description of each of the people who were involved in the crime – hair color and length, build/weight, height, female or male and race
- A description of what you saw
- If a vehicle was involved, the licence plate number, color and type of vehicle and any injuries
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Making A Witness Statement And Who Gets A Copy
Police may audio or video tape you when you are giving your statement. They may ask you to write down what you told them or they may write it for you.
Police will ask you to read the statement and sign it. It is important that you read the written statement and confirm it is completely accurate before you sign it because you may be asked about it as a witness in court. If you realize that you missed something after you signed the statement, provide the information to police as soon as you can. You can ask for a copy of your statement.
Some of the questions the police ask may make you feel uncomfortable. You may wonder why they are important. But things that do not seem important to you do end up helping police arrest someone.
A copy of the witness statement is usually given only to Crown and defence counsel, who can ask questions about your statement at the trial. Defence counsel will likely give a copy of the witness statement to the accused as they prepare for trial.
Estimating Time Can Be A Problem
Youll also learn that people badly estimate time by either underestimation or overestimation. For example: Youre interviewing the victim of a street robbery. The victim tells you she can identify the suspect, because she got a good look at him. You ask her how long she looked at his face, and she replies, About a minute. While shes not lying, it should be obvious to you that shes probably overestimating the time.
One minute is a very long time. A little more effort by you will bring that down to a more realistic observation measured in seconds. You may not think its an important detail, but that detail could be important if the case gets to trial. The defendants attorney will make the jury aware of how long a minute can be.
Also Check: How To Listen To Police Scanner On Phone
Are Police Reports Confidential
It depends on the governing laws of the state. Generally, police reports are considered public records and certain records should be made accessible to the public. However, some sensitive information or cases require discretion and may not be readily or easily disclosed without proper authorization .
Crimes can range from petty misdemeanors to major offenses. Whether its a traffic violation, a robbery with assault, or a double homicide, police reports are crucial in establishing the facts needed to help an investigation move forward and ultimately, preserve justice and order. Browse any of the printable templates and downloadable samples above to help you get started on your report!
Purposes Of Police Reports
Indeed police reports are crucial and significant as an Investigation Report Template . They are important documentation tools used by the police force for speedy resolution of cases. It also serves as a feedback mechanism that will help improve how our policemen deal with crimes.
The reports are considered as the building blocks for a successful investigation. They must be treated with utmost diligence and care.
Here are some of the common uses of police reports based we found:
- Police reports are used by prosecutors to determine if there is probable cause or if there is sufficient reason for a case to be filed.
- It is used for documentation purposes.
- It is as basis for further investigation
But one has to take note that each country has their own rules of procedure regarding police reports. You must take into account what your laws say and then choose from the template, whichever is legal and applicable.
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How To Write A Police Report
This article was co-authored by Saul Jaeger, MS . Saul Jaeger is a Police Officer and Captain of the Mountain View, California Police Department . Saul has over 17 years of experience as a patrol officer, field training officer, traffic officer, detective, hostage negotiator, and as the traffic units sergeant and Public Information Officer for the MVPD. At the MVPD, in addition to commanding the Field Operations Division, Saul has also led the Communications Center and the Crisis Negotiation Team. He earned an MS in Emergency Services Management from the California State University, Long Beach in 2008 and a BS in Administration of Justice from the University of Phoenix in 2006. He also earned a Corporate Innovation LEAD Certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2018.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 11 testimonials and 82% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 974,820 times.
If you’re a police officer or security guard, knowing how to write up a detailed and accurate report is important. A well written incident report gives a thorough account of what happened and sticks to the facts. If you’re trying to write a police report, or are curious about how the police put together their reports, learning what to include and how to format the report is helpful.
How To Master Report Writing
November 22, 2010 by Amaury Murgado Bookmark +
Whenever anyone talks about report writing, images of my academy class and the boring report writing segment always comes to mind. What I didn’t know then, but know now, is just how important report writing really is.
As first responders, we consistently spend more time writing reports than on any other single task in law enforcement. The only thing that beats it is probably driving around patrolling our zones. And yet, beyond the academy, we get very little training in writing, period. We are just supposed to fumble through and learn other aspects of technical writing on our own. Because of this, we need to find a way of writing reports that will serve us well throughout our entire career.
As a report writing instructor, I am motivated by a school seal that belongs to the Philips Academy, better known as Andover. Andover is a prep school that was established during the American Revolution and is one of the oldest boarding schools in the country. The school seal was crafted by Paul Revere and includes the Latin phrase, “Finis Origine Pendet,” which translates to the end depends on the beginning. The beginning is the focus of this commentary and it will cover the process of report writing.
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How You Got the Call
What They Said
What You Observed
What You Did
Putting it All Together
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Simple Ways To Instantly Improve Your Report Writing
Tactics keep you alive, but report writing keeps you out of trouble
This article is part of a series, Report Writing for a New Generation: Merging Technology with Traditional Techniques , which covers general police report writing skills along with plain English instruction, professional and technical writing best practices, and how technology is changing the way officers write.
The series is exclusive content for Police1 members. Not a member? Register here. It is free and easy!
Last year, I attended a weeklong regional technical training course tailored for first-line supervisors. The course covered best practices in managing large-scale chaotic scenes and conducting after-action reviews . After the training, I spoke to one of the instructors, a retired LEO, for more information on after-action reports. I was quickly met with an interesting and borderline discouraging comment: “Officer’s don’t care about reports they care about tactics. Focus on tactics, and someone else will do the after-action report.”
“Officers don’t care about reports they care about tactics.” Was that statement true?
My colleagues were in the same boat: lots of tactics training with little to no police report writing training.
Tactics keep you alive, but a well-written police report keeps you out of trouble however, report writing is something most agencies dismiss as an important officer survival skill.
Thoughts On Type 1 Sample Report
I couldnt locate your links to actual police reports posted on line. Pls advise.
Hello Jean, This is a fantastic site. I am from the UK, and I am currently going through the selection process to become a police officer. One of the activities I need to do is to write an incident report and this has been a massive help to me.
I was wondering if you could give me some advice? The incident report I have to write, will need to be written based on a series of fictitious memos and emails. I have 30 minutes to complete this report and Its likely I will be dealing with four different accounts of what happened. I am trying to find a structure that I can work with that will allow me pass this part of the recruitment process. I am really worried about this, and could do with some good advice. I have an example of what I have to do if that helps?
Youre an excellent writer! The big issue I think you should deal with is inefficiency. Police officers are busy. Omit words that are just empty fillers. You dont need to say by the name of. Omit the duty officer asked,The officer asked if her could provide any further details of the suspects and similar statements. Just record what the suspect said. The purpose of a report is to record facts that will be useful for an investigation and possible prosecution. The duty officers questions just waste time and wont be useful later.
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Are Police Records Kept Available Online
No, they are not. Police records are not a part of the court system, so it is not readily available for everybody to look into. This also means the documents are not posted online for viewing as well.
Making a well-written report is crucial in solving the case and ending on a good note. Whether it is a report on a stolen car or something a lot more serious, we hope you can write a police report with the tips mentioned above. If you need any more ideas on writing one, feel free to browse through our incident reports and summary templates as a guide for you.
Ten Tips For Writing Reports Efficiently
Try using these 10 tips the next time you write a police report, and youll be able to complete your paperwork more quickly and efficiently. And thats only one of the benefits. Anyone who reads your report will be impressed by your professionalism and writing ability. You will have avoided outdated wordiness that characterizes so much police writing.
1. Use names and pronouns when you write about yourself and others at the scene. Avoid outdated expressions like this officer and the abovementioned witness or victim 1.
In the past some officers were taught that impersonal terminology guaranteed objectivity and accuracy. Not true! You have the same integrity whether youre calling yourself I or this officer. And think about this: if you were testifying in court, and sworn to tell the truth, you would use everyday language in your testimony. Follow the same practice in your reports.
2. Limit yourself to one idea per sentence.
Short, straightforward sentences are easy to read and understand, saving time for everyone. The longer a sentence is, the more likely you are to make an error.
3. Start every sentence with a person, place, or thing.
Normal sentence structure in English begins with a noun, and the grammar is simple: Just put a period at the end. Complicated sentences, on the other hand, require complicated punctuation, and they open the door to sentence errors.
4. Try to limit yourself to three commas per sentence.
5. Be as clear and specific as possible.
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Police Report is a weekend RTHK programme in Hong Kong, similar to Crimewatch in the UK or America's Most Wanted in the United States.
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CSAs must report all disclosed Clery crimes, even if the report is second-hand or duplicate. You should not investigate or try to determine whether the crime ...
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How to Write a Report: A Guide
A report is a nonfiction account that presents and/or summarizes the facts about a particular event, topic, or issue. The idea is that people who are unfamiliar with the subject can find everything they need to know from a good report.
Reports make it easy to catch someone up to speed on a subject, but actually writing a report is anything but easy. So to help you understand what to do, below we present a little report of our own, all about report writing.
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What is a report?
In technical terms, the definition of a report is pretty vague: any account, spoken or written, of the matters concerning a particular topic. This could refer to anything from a courtroom testimony to a grade schooler’s book report.
Really, when people talk about “reports,” they’re usually referring to official documents outlining the facts of a topic, typically written by an expert on the subject or someone assigned to investigate it. There are different types of reports, explained in the next section, but they mostly fit this description.
What kind of information is shared in reports? Although all facts are welcome, reports, in particular, tend to feature these types of content:
- Details of an event or situation
- The consequences or ongoing effect of an event or situation
- Evaluation of statistical data or analytics
- Interpretations from the information in the report
- Predictions or recommendations based on the information in the report
- How the information relates to other events or reports
Reports are closely related to essay writing , although there are some clear distinctions. While both rely on facts, essays add the personal opinions and arguments of the authors. Reports typically stick only to the facts, although they may include some of the author’s interpretation of these facts, most likely in the conclusion.
Moreover, reports are heavily organized, commonly with tables of contents and copious headings and subheadings. This makes it easier for readers to scan reports for the information they’re looking for. Essays, on the other hand, are meant to be read start to finish, not browsed for specific insights.
Types of reports
There are a few different types of reports, depending on the purpose and to whom you present your report. Here’s a quick list of the common types of reports:
- Academic report: Tests a student’s comprehension of the subject matter, such as book reports, reports on historical events, and biographies
- Business reports: Identifies information useful in business strategy, such as marketing reports, internal memos, SWOT analysis, and feasibility reports
- Scientific reports: Shares research findings, such as research papers and case studies, typically in science journals
Reports can be further divided into categories based on how they are written. For example, a report could be formal or informal, short or long, and internal or external. In business, a vertical report shares information with people on different levels of the hierarchy (i.e., people who work above you and below you), while a lateral report is for people on the author’s same level, but in different departments.
There are as many types of reports as there are writing styles, but in this guide, we focus on academic reports, which tend to be formal and informational.
>>Read More: What Is Academic Writing?
What is the structure of a report?
The structure of a report depends on the type of report and the requirements of the assignment. While reports can use their own unique structure, most follow this basic template:
- Executive summary: Just like an abstract in an academic paper, an executive summary is a standalone section that summarizes the findings in your report so readers know what to expect. These are mostly for official reports and less so for school reports.
- Introduction: Setting up the body of the report, your introduction explains the overall topic that you’re about to discuss, with your thesis statement and any need-to-know background information before you get into your own findings.
- Body: The body of the report explains all your major discoveries, broken up into headings and subheadings. The body makes up the majority of the entire report; whereas the introduction and conclusion are just a few paragraphs each, the body can go on for pages.
- Conclusion: The conclusion is where you bring together all the information in your report and come to a definitive interpretation or judgment. This is usually where the author inputs their own personal opinions or inferences.
If you’re familiar with how to write a research paper , you’ll notice that report writing follows the same introduction-body-conclusion structure, sometimes adding an executive summary. Reports usually have their own additional requirements as well, such as title pages and tables of content, which we explain in the next section.
What should be included in a report?
There are no firm requirements for what’s included in a report. Every school, company, laboratory, task manager, and teacher can make their own format, depending on their unique needs. In general, though, be on the lookout for these particular requirements—they tend to crop up a lot:
- Title page: Official reports often use a title page to keep things organized; if a person has to read multiple reports, title pages make them easier to keep track of.
- Table of contents: Just like in books, the table of contents helps readers go directly to the section they’re interested in, allowing for faster browsing.
- Page numbering: A common courtesy if you’re writing a longer report, page numbering makes sure the pages are in order in the case of mix-ups or misprints.
- Headings and subheadings: Reports are typically broken up into sections, divided by headings and subheadings, to facilitate browsing and scanning.
- Citations: If you’re citing information from another source, the citations guidelines tell you the recommended format.
- Works cited page: A bibliography at the end of the report lists credits and the legal information for the other sources you got information from.
As always, refer to the assignment for the specific guidelines on each of these. The people who read the report should tell you which style guides or formatting they require.
How to write a report in 7 steps
Now let’s get into the specifics of how to write a report. Follow the seven steps on report writing below to take you from an idea to a completed paper.
1 Choose a topic based on the assignment
Before you start writing, you need to pick the topic of your report. Often, the topic is assigned for you, as with most business reports, or predetermined by the nature of your work, as with scientific reports. If that’s the case, you can ignore this step and move on.
If you’re in charge of choosing your own topic, as with a lot of academic reports, then this is one of the most important steps in the whole writing process. Try to pick a topic that fits these two criteria:
- There’s adequate information: Choose a topic that’s not too general but not too specific, with enough information to fill your report without padding, but not too much that you can’t cover everything.
- It’s something you’re interested in: Although this isn’t a strict requirement, it does help the quality of a report if you’re engaged by the subject matter.
Of course, don’t forget the instructions of the assignment, including length, so keep those in the back of your head when deciding.
2 Conduct research
With business and scientific reports, the research is usually your own or provided by the company—although there’s still plenty of digging for external sources in both.
For academic papers, you’re largely on your own for research, unless you’re required to use class materials. That’s one of the reasons why choosing the right topic is so crucial; you won’t go far if the topic you picked doesn’t have enough available research.
The key is to search only for reputable sources: official documents, other reports, research papers, case studies, books from respected authors, etc. Feel free to use research cited in other similar reports. You can often find a lot of information online through search engines, but a quick trip to the library can also help in a pinch.
3 Write a thesis statement
Before you go any further, write a thesis statement to help you conceptualize the main theme of your report. Just like the topic sentence of a paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes the main point of your writing, in this case, the report.
Once you’ve collected enough research, you should notice some trends and patterns in the information. If these patterns all infer or lead up to a bigger, overarching point, that’s your thesis statement.
For example, if you were writing a report on the wages of fast-food employees, your thesis might be something like, “Although wages used to be commensurate with living expenses, after years of stagnation they are no longer adequate.” From there, the rest of your report will elaborate on that thesis, with ample evidence and supporting arguments.
It’s good to include your thesis statement in both the executive summary and introduction of your report, but you still want to figure it out early so you know which direction to go when you work on your outline next.
4 Prepare an outline
Writing an outline is recommended for all kinds of writing, but it’s especially useful for reports given their emphasis on organization. Because reports are often separated by headings and subheadings, a solid outline makes sure you stay on track while writing without missing anything.
Really, you should start thinking about your outline during the research phase, when you start to notice patterns and trends. If you’re stuck, try making a list of all the key points, details, and evidence you want to mention. See if you can fit them into general and specific categories, which you can turn into headings and subheadings respectively.
5 Write a rough draft
Actually writing the rough draft , or first draft, is usually the most time-consuming step. Here’s where you take all the information from your research and put it into words. To avoid getting overwhelmed, simply follow your outline step by step to make sure you don’t accidentally leave out anything.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; that’s the number one rule for writing a rough draft. Expecting your first draft to be perfect adds a lot of pressure. Instead, write in a natural and relaxed way, and worry about the specific details like word choice and correcting mistakes later. That’s what the last two steps are for, anyway.
6 Revise and edit your report
Once your rough draft is finished, it’s time to go back and start fixing the mistakes you ignored the first time around. (Before you dive right back in, though, it helps to sleep on it to start editing fresh, or at least take a small break to unwind from writing the rough draft.)
We recommend first rereading your report for any major issues, such as cutting or moving around entire sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes you’ll find your data doesn’t line up, or that you misinterpreted a key piece of evidence. This is the right time to fix the “big picture” mistakes and rewrite any longer sections as needed.
If you’re unfamiliar with what to look for when editing, you can read our previous guide with some more advanced self-editing tips .
7 Proofread and check for mistakes
Last, it pays to go over your report one final time, just to optimize your wording and check for grammatical or spelling mistakes. In the previous step you checked for “big picture” mistakes, but here you’re looking for specific, even nitpicky problems.
A writing assistant like Grammarly flags those issues for you. Grammarly’s free version points out any spelling and grammatical mistakes while you write, with suggestions to improve your writing that you can apply with just one click. The Premium version offers even more advanced features, such as tone adjustments and word choice recommendations for taking your writing to the next level.
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19+ Sample Police Report Templates – PDF, DOC
When you go to a police station with the purpose of writing a report or a FIR complaint, you can check and analyze the nature or the look of the report format. The police report formats have a pattern of their own. These formats are provided with a huge number of details. You may also see Daily Report Template .
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What is a Police Report Template?
How to make a fake police report template, the following steps will be involved in the process of making a fake police report example:.
- The nature of the documents has to be clear.
- The format has to be very neat.
- All the details need to be mentioned.
- The template design has o be well spread out.
Benefits of Sample Police Report Template
- A sample police report template example online will offer you a readymade structure of an actual police report template.
- Such a false police report template is always handy when you are not sure on how to create the report properly.
- A readymade crime report template will save you from creating an entire report which in turn will save a lot of time & energy for you.
- These are easily customizable.
- You will find free sample police report template online
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Step 1: fill in the basic details, step 2: narrate the incident, step 3: keep to the format, step 4: sign and add a disclaimer , step 5: include an action item or status (optional) , share this post on your network, you may also like these articles, 28+ sample behavior incident reports in pdf | ms word.
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2. add in the facts and evidence, 3. record facts and take action, 4. police are involved and solve the issue, 1. consider writing all the details, 2. get the witnesses statement, 3. avoid redoing anything, 4. write how it happened, 5. keep the reports as much as possible, more design, 6+ incident report letter examples, 6+ investigation report outline examples, 4+ accident report letter examples, 3+ accident narrative report examples, free 18+ incident report examples, 16+ damage report example, free 12+ volunteer incident report examples, 10+ incident flow chart examples, 10+ insurance incident report examples, 10+ fire accident report examples, 10+ equipment damage report examples, 9+ incident report writing examples, related articles.
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How to Write a Police Report Download Article parts 1 Following Protocol 2 Describing What Happened 3 Editing Your Report + Show 1 more... Other Sections Tips and Warnings Related Articles References Article Summary Co-authored by Saul Jaeger, MS Last Updated: February 24, 2022 Approved
Fill out the form below to download a printable guide. Guide: Start writing your best police reports First Name* Last Name* Email* Phone* Organization* Title/Position* By submitting this form, you agree to the Terms of Service and will be signed up to the site.
The header of a police report outlines the name and location of the agency, as well as its contact information. You should include your name as well as that of any other involved parties. It also includes information about the incident — usually either "theft" or "vandalism." The date and time should be included too.
By doing this, it will be a lot easier to write a police report. Focus On The Facts Fill in the spaces in the form, and the details to enter include; Your name and ID number The date, time, and location where the incident happened Name of other police officers present State The Nature Of The Incident Detail what exactly drew you to the crime scene.
Writing a Police Report Writing Basics When writing a police report, you also want to abide by the 4 C's: Clear: Try to be as specific as possible. Avoid any vague statements or phrases. Concise: Avoid overly wordy language. Keep statements simple and direct. Complete: Include all relevant information.
A police report template is a document that is used to furnish a written report of the events of an event relating to the law enforcement process. The role of police reports in our society can be seen in many ways. From its use as evidence, to providing a public record of an incident, or simply used to assist in the investigation process.
Police reports become part of the public record and may be used in court. You want to make a good impression in order to be considered knowledgeable and reliable. 2. Consider your audience. Use Standard English (not slang, police codes, or abbreviations) so that anyone reading the report understands the meaning clearly. Sample police report ...
If you are looking for ideas to write a police basic report, you can take care of the following points while creating one: State the incident clearly. Who are the people involved in the incident? Make sure you mention the date and the exact time the incident took place. Are there any injuries/damage to people/things in the incident?
CHAPTER 1 HOW REPORTS ARE USED In this chapter, you will learn what makes an excellent report and how reports are used: • as a basis for criminal cases; as a basis for civil cases, including insurance, health department, risk management, environmental (AQMD), etc. • as a source of statistical information • to supply information to newspapers and the media
Here are some tips on how to write it well. 1. Take Note of Those Involved Another essential detail to take note of in your police report is to write down the information of the people who filed the report. It could be the victim themselves, an associate of theirs, or a bystander who saw the event.
An officer's field notes are the original source documents used to write a police report. For this reason, if field notes are incomplete, poorly organized, or illegible, they will be of little use to the officer in writing the resulting police report.
These important elements are needed in a police report template so that the information contained in the report can be used effectively in the next processes. Now let's look at some steps on how to obtain and use a police report. Police Report Examples Download 33 KB #08 Download 426 KB #09 Download 113 KB #10 Download 480 KB #11 Download 50 KB #12
Here are examples about how to write a police report so it is clear, concise and well-organized. CLEAR: For a police report to be clear, it must properly identify the persons, places and/or things relevant to the crime. Poor Example: Victim states three acquaintances struck him at the shopping center.
Type 1 Sample Report Most police reports can be organized into four types. This post deals with Type 1 reports. (For an overview of all four types of reports, click here .) Here's a sample Type 1 report: At 5:22 p.m. on May 12, 2010, I was dispatched to 239 Carol Avenue regarding a theft.
To file a supplemental police report, click on the "File a Police Report" link above, select the appropriate incident type, follow the prompted questions, and select 'supplemental report' when prompted. Use the supplemental report method to report: Additional property losses from the same crime.
The suggestions offered in this training guide aim at making police reports more readable and factual by providing guidance for report format, improved word usage, and better writing technique. Examples of the principles stated are provided. Appended are sample reports, a report content checklist, and guidelines for testifying.
Click on New Document and choose the file importing option: upload Police report template from your device, the cloud, or a protected link. Make changes to the sample. Utilize the top and left panel tools to edit Police report template. ... To write a police report, you should include the time, date, and location of the incident youre reporting ...
1 Choose a topic based on the assignment. Before you start writing, you need to pick the topic of your report. Often, the topic is assigned for you, as with most business reports, or predetermined by the nature of your work, as with scientific reports. If that's the case, you can ignore this step and move on.
The police report templates can be downloaded easily which can immensely help the users in creating a proper police report format.There are many sites over the internet that offer these Free Report Templates. Simple Accident Report Template Details File Format MS Word Pages Size: US, A4 Download General Incident Report Template Details File Format
To help you create a constructive police report, remember the following tips: Complete the Basic Details: Never neglect to provide the key information: name, contact list details, date, time and location of the crime. For non-police persons filing a report, they are typically required to sign the statement as it is a formal legal document.
Inside the provided packet, you will find a teachers guide for how to complete the lesson with your students, sample police report worksheets, outlines and graphic organizers for tracking notes, and practice worksheets for studying essential skills such as summarizing.
3+ Car Accident Police Report Sample Examples 1. Car Accident Police Report Template Details File Format MS Word Google Docs Download 2. Car Accident Police Report Form kainelaw.com Details File Format PDF Size: 15 KB Download 3. Motor Vehicle Car Accident Police Report dot.state.mn.us Details File Format PDF Size: 159 KB Download 4.