COMMON ELEMENTS OF ALL POLICE REPORTS AND COMMONLY ACCEPTED PROCEDURES FOR PREPARING REPORTS

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Table of Contents

Question 1. 3

Introduction. 3

The Elements of a Police Report 4

Officer’s Identifying Information. 4

Basic Factual and Contact Information. 4

Location, Date and Time of the Incident 4

Narrative. 4

Suspect Description. 5

Standard Operating Procedures for Police Report Writing. 5

Organize Your Information. 5

Format Your Report 6

Use Plain Language. 6

Benefits. 6

Conclusion. 7

References. 8

Question 1

Introduction

The police report is the first part of any investigation. A well-written, complete and accurate police report is an important piece of evidence for any future prosecution. Police reports are also often part of the public record and used to gather statistics and perform evaluations. For these reasons, a complete police report can be an invaluable resource. There are several components of a typical police report that need to be completed when filled in. First you will need to summarize and make sure to communicate in a clear and succinct manner. Second you will need to describe the scene and the state the alleged crime in occurring in. Also who was involved in the crime, as long as when and where did the crime take place with specific details? While filling out a police report, make sure you use simple language, because it might seem strange but if you state information using big words there are going to be people who will not understand what you are saying. Make sure you include all statements from any victims or witnesses, and have to be word for word from what they said. They will need to state the statement just to verify what we have them saying is accurate and they can’t change their story when it comes time to a trial or any other time. When gathering this information make sure you obtain all information regarding to witnesses or victims, regarding address, phone numbers, drivers license numbers, etc so we are able to contact them for any reason.

The Elements of a Police Report

Officer’s Identifying Information

The police report should include the officer’s name, rank and the agency that dispatched her. For evidentiary purposes, it is important to carefully record who took the police report.

Basic Factual and Contact Information

This part of the police report is generally fill-in-the-blank and used to document basic information about the incident and why the officer was called to the scene. It should include as much information as possible, including contact information for everyone involved in the incident.

Location, Date and Time of the Incident

Although this portion of the report may seem obvious, its accuracy is important. In a court of law, mistakes as to date, time and address can make the report inadmissible. If the incident took place at more than one location, the reports should document each location and corresponding time of location change carefully.

The report should document the time frame of the event and the officer should be aware that victims and witnesses may have a distorted perception of the time frame. A timeline sketch may help in drafting the police report (Devery, 2010).

Narrative

This is the “story” of the incident. If the other portions of the report are complete, the report does not need to repeat unnecessary information. Often a chronological account is most clear, but there are circumstances when a chronological approach may confuse the reader. The narrative should include the witness’s statements as well as what the officer witnessed personally.

Suspect Description

The report should document the age, race, sex, hair color, eye color, weight, height and any notable features of the suspect. The police officer should ask witnesses detailed questions about the suspect to help them recall the suspect’s description accurately and completely.

Standard Operating Procedures for Police Report Writing

The most important part of police report writing is obtaining all of the facts. Generally, a police officer will first make contact with a person who has a complaint about a criminal legal issue, commonly referred to as the complainant. The complainant will most likely have the best, most accurate information about the incident. This is one of the most crucial parts of report writing because this is where the basis of th.............


Type: Essay || Words: 1790 Rating || Excellent

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