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How to Write a Police Report

Last Updated: April 13, 2024 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 13 testimonials and 85% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,144,690 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.

Following Protocol

Step 1 Get the correct forms from your department.

  • 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

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.

Step 2 Start the report as soon as possible.

  • 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.

Step 3 Focus on the facts.

  • 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

Step 4 Include a line about the nature of the incident.

  • 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

Step 1 Write in the first-person.

  • 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.

Step 2 Include rich detail in your report.

  • 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..."

Step 3 Use diagrams.

  • 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.

Step 4 Make a thorough report.

  • 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.

Step 5 Include accurate details and leave out the rest.

  • 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.

Step 6 Use clear language.

  • 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.”

Step 7 Be honest.

  • Preserve your integrity and the institution you represent by telling the truth.

Editing Your Report

Step 1 Check your report for accuracy.

  • For example, if you forget to include the one party's reason why the argument started, then that would leave a gap.

Step 2 Proofread your report.

  • 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.

Step 3 Submit your incident 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

how to write an incident report police

Expert Q&A

  • Ask your department for any templates or forms that they use, in order to make sure the report is in the proper format. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
  • Keep a copy of the report for your records. You may need to refer back to it in the future. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
  • 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. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 1

how to write an incident report police

  • 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. Thanks Helpful 36 Not Helpful 12
  • Do not use opinions in a police report, unless you are asked to do so. A police report should be objective rather than subjective. Thanks Helpful 18 Not Helpful 5

You Might Also Like

Obtain a Police Report

  • ↑ http://www.lapdonline.org/lapd_manual/
  • ↑ http://www.securityguardtraininghq.com/how-to-write-a-detailed-incident-report/

About This Article

Saul Jaeger, MS

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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How to write organized and concise police reports

Set the scene, by introducing the people, property and other information before it is discussed.

Untitled design (21).png

Police report writing sets the scene to explain and understand the incident. (Photo/West Midlands Police via Flickr)

The information and methods in this article are more fully discussed in John Bowden’s excellent book “ Report Writing For Law Enforcement & Corrections .” It is available from Amazon and other booksellers.

Article updated October 19, 2018

What is the secret to good police report writing ? The answer is organization and clarity. By following these two principles, you’re already on the path to a great report. A major problem for a lot of report writers is organization, not writing the report in chronological order.

One of the biggest challenges with the concept of chronological order is the order according to whom? Is it the writer, the victim, a witness or perhaps even the suspect? Each of these actors in the event has their own perspective to the order of events. Complete the “Access this Police1 Resource” box on this page to download a copy of this guide to print and keep at your desk.

Where should I begin the police report?

For the writer, the incident starts when they first arrive on the scene. For the victim, it is when they first realize they are the victim. For the witness, it is when they first see the action that makes them a witness. Of course, for the suspect, it is when they make that conscious decision to commit the crime. True chronological order means the order in which the events actually occurred.

Many reports begin this way:

While on patrol, (date and time) I received a call to (location). Upon my arrival, I spoke to the victim, (name) who said...

This format is told in the order in which the events occurred to the writer. It can work and has worked since report writing began, in simple cases with few principles, facts and evidence. In these cases, it is easy to use and can be understood fairly well.

The problems in clarity occur when there are multiple principals, a significant amount of evidence and events occurred over a longer time period of time.

You know you’re having problems organizing the report when it’s unclear where or how to begin the report.

Tell the incident story backward

This format is not what I would call a report. It is a statement from the writer saying what happened to them. In fact, in most cases, the crime has already occurred and the writer is telling the story backward. When asked why they write this way, many report writers will state that they don’t want to make it look like they are making it up — they want to emphasize where they received the information.

I have a simple startup paragraph that relieves this concern and makes it clear where the information came from:

I, (name), on (date and time) received a call to (location) reference to (the crime). My investigation revealed the following information.

This one short paragraph is interpreted to mean you talked to all the parties involved and examined the evidence. A report is not a statement of what the writer did (although this format can more or less work). A report tells the story of what happened, based on the investigation.

Some writers are concerned about being required to testify about what the report revealed. This is not a concern. You only testify to what you did, heard or saw.

When a witness tells you what they saw, you cannot testify to those facts, only that they said it to you. Their information should be thoroughly documented in their own written statements. Each witness, victim or suspect will testify to their own part in the case. Crime scene technicians and experts will testify to the evidence and how it relates to the case.

Your story, told in true chronological order, will be the guide to the prosecutor of what happened. It is like the outlines in a coloring book. The prosecutor will add the color with his presentation, using all the subjects and experts as his crayons to illustrate the picture – the story.

The investigating officer that writes the report is one of those crayons.

Set the scene

We start the process with the opening statement I outlined above. You can change the verbiage to suit your own style. The important phrase is the last sentence, “My investigation revealed the following information.” This tells the reader that this is the story of what happened. Your actions will be inserted in the story as it unfolds.

When you start, set the scene. Introduce the people, property and other information before it is discussed. For example, with a convenience store robbery, set the time, location and victim before you describe the action.

Mr. Jones was working as a store clerk on Jan 12th, 2013, at the Mid-Town Convenience store, 2501 E. Maple Street, at 2315 hours. Jones was standing behind the counter, facing the store. There were no other people in the store.

These first few sentences set the scene. The next sentence is the next thing that happens.

Approximately 2020 hours the suspect walked in the front door.

Each of the following sentences is merely a statement of what happened next.

  • The suspect walked around the store in a counterclockwise direction.
  • When he emerged from the back of the store he was wearing a stocking mask.
  • He walked up to the counter and pointed a small revolver at the clerk.
  • He said, “Give me all the money in the register...”

If you have multiple subjects involved in the event, introduce and place them all at the same time, before starting the action. A good example of this is a shoplifting case with multiple suspects and multiple loss prevention officers. Before starting the action, place all the people. This makes it easy to describe the action when it starts.

After you finish telling the story, you can add all the facts that need to be included in the report not brought out in the story. Here are facts that can be included, if available:

  • Evidence collected
  • Pictures taken
  • Statements of witnesses, the victim and even the suspect.
  • Property recovered
  • Any facts needed to be documented in the case

Using this process will ensure your police report is clear and complete.

John Bowden

John Bowden is the founder and director of Applied Police Training and Certification. John retired from the Orlando Police Department as a Master Police Officer In 1994. His career spans a period of 21 years in law enforcement overlapping 25 years of law enforcement instruction. His total of more than 37 years of experience includes all aspects of law enforcement to include: uniform crime scene technician, patrol operations, investigations, undercover operations, planning and research for departmental development, academy coordinator, field training officer and field training supervisor.

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Blog Human Resources How to Write an Effective Incident Report [Templates]

How to Write an Effective Incident Report [Templates]

Written by: Victoria Clarke Jun 13, 2023

How to Write an Effective Incident Report [Templates] Blog Header

We all do our best to ensure a happy and healthy workforce. That’s why, in a perfect world, you would never have to create an incident report.

But since incidents do happen, it’s never a bad idea to be prepared for any situation–especially the unexpected.  

Small business owners, human resources teams and workplace emergency first responders: this is the article for you! 

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll share our top tips on creating incident reports that will help you carry out effective investigations and make sure similar (or more serious) incidents don’t happen again.  I’ll also include our top incident report templates to get the job done.

Table of Contents:

  • What is an incident report?

What to include in a work incident report?

  • How to write an incident report?
  • Incident report examples, templates and design tips
  • Simple incident report template
  • COVID-19 employee incident report templates

how to write an incident report police

All of the templates in this post can be customized using our easy online  incident report maker  tool. It’s free to sign up, many of our templates are free to use too.

What is an incident report? 

An incident report is a form to document all workplace illnesses, injuries, near misses and accidents. An incident report should be completed at the time an incident occurs no matter how minor an injury is.

Here’s one example:

how to write an incident report police

Any illness or injury that impacts an employee’s ability to work must be noted. The specifics of what is required by law to be included in an incident report will vary depending on the federal or provincial legislation that affects your workplace.

If you’re unsure, you can take a look at your government’s website for more details. In certain cases, there are exceptions that can exempt small businesses from complying with such legislation. 

Employee Incident Report Template Venngage

A well-structured incident report typically includes the following five key elements:

  • Date, time and location: Provide specific details about when and where the incident occurred. This helps establish a timeline and context for understanding the event.
  • Description of the incident: Clearly describe what happened, including relevant details such as the sequence of events, the people involved and any contributing factors. Use objective language and avoid assumptions or opinions.
  • Witness information: Include names and contact information for any witnesses to the incident. Their accounts can provide valuable perspectives and corroborate details.
  • Action taken: Outline any immediate actions taken to address the incident, such as first aid, evacuation procedures or contacting emergency services. Documenting these responses is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of the initial response.
  • Recommendations for prevention: Offer suggestions on how similar incidents can be prevented in the future. This proactive approach demonstrates a commitment to improving safety and mitigating risks.

How to write an incident report ?

It’s important to establish a systematic method for investigating incidents.  

It’s also equally important to have a report prepared that enables you to record every relevant aspect of the incident details–this is the essential first step in the incident reporting process.  

After you’ve created your incident report form, you can: 

  • Begin your investigation with fact-finding 
  • And end your investigation with determining recommendations for preventing both an increase in the severity of the incident and the possibility of a recurrence.  

To write any incident case reports, follow the basic format described below.

how to write an incident report police

1. Take immediate action 

Employees of your organization should notify their manager or another member of the company’s leadership committee as soon as an incident occurs–regardless of the nature of the event (whether it be an accident, illness, injury or near miss).  

That being said, there need to be communication channels clearly defined to promote the practice of employees coming forward in these situations and the importance of such.

Once an incident has been reported, the member of leadership’s first responsibility is to ensure that appropriate treatment, if necessary, is being administered to those affected by the event.  

On this note: if the hazard still exists, the manager that the event has been reported to must eliminate the hazard by controlling it. Each company should have a defined procedure for accomplishing this based on the nature of their work. 

For example, if there was a spill that caused a fall. You would attend to the victim and promptly have the spill wiped up and identify the area as a hazard by using a sign.

2. Collect the facts 

Once the immediate action including the response to the event and eliminating the hazard from the environment has been conducted, it’s time to determine and record the facts related to the incident details. 

how to write an incident report police

9 facts related to the incident include: 

1. the basics.

Identify the specific location, time and date of the incident. This information is fundamental to the investigation and the most obvious information to collect. 

2. The affected

Collect details of those involved and/or affected by the incident. This would entail recording the name(s) of the individual(s) involved, their job title(s), the department(s) they operate in the manager(s) of those affected. 

3. The witnesses

Speak to any witnesses of the event to collect their perspectives of the event. Record their statements as detailed and accurate as possible in the form.  

To ensure accuracy, it’s best practice to review your notes with the witness to ensure they agree with how the event is portrayed in the report. It’s also important to include the name(s) of any witnesses in the report in case any additional questioning is required. 

4. The context

Consider and document the events that occurred leading up to the incident. Ask:

  • What was the employee doing? 
  • Who asked them to complete the task? How was the employee feeling prior to the incident? …etc. 

It is important to identify which factors were an outcome of the incident and which factors were present prior to the incident and could be a potential contributing factor to the incident occurring.

5. The actions

In the report, you must specify the actions of those involved at the time of the incident. What did the employee do that led to the incident? 

For example, if an employee injured their back when lifting a box at work, it is important to determine how that employee lifted the box to decide if that contributed to the injury. If yes, then inquire if this employee was trained properly for this task and by who or what source.  

6. The environment

Identify and record environmental conditions that contributed to the event. Was there inadequate lighting? Was a piece of equipment not operating properly? Was the employees’ visibility obstructed by a glare or blind spot? Etc. 

7. The injuries

Record detailed descriptions of specific injuries and evaluate the severity of such in the report. This description should include part(s) of the body injured, nature and extent of injuries. 

8. The treatment

It is also important to document in the incident case report the type of treatment administered for the acknowledged injuries. This information is important to document in order to understand how the employee recovers when reviewing the specifics of the event.

9. The damages

Record an account of any damage to equipment, materials, etc that was affected by the incident. This will be helpful to refer back during the analysis of the event in order to consider both a corrective action plan and to determine what items will need to be repaired or replaced. 

3. Analyze and reflect  

Collecting and recording the facts related to the occurrence of the incident will aid in determining how the incident occurred. Analyzing the collected facts related to the incident will aid in determining why the incident occurred. 

Analyzing and determining how and why the incident occurred is essential in order to develop an effective corrective action plan. 

Potential causes for accidents or injuries that occurred in the workplace could include: 

  • Primary causes (for example, an unsalted ice patch on a set of stairs that caused a slip and fall). 
  • Secondary causes (for example, an employee not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, such as a hard helmet or eyewear).
  • Other contributing causes (for example: a burned-out light bulb in the area causing poor visibility). 

how to write an incident report police

4. Establish a corrective action plan 

A corrective action plan would provide recommendations as a means to reduce the possibility of a continued issue and/or recurrence of the incident details. The recommendations would result from an effective analysis of the facts collected and documented in the incident report. 

Elements of an effective corrective action plan could include: 

  • Occupational Health & Safety training for employees 
  • Preventative routine maintenance processes that ensure equipment is in proper working condition 
  • A review of job practices and procedures with a recommendation for changes to reduce the risk of incidents 
  • Conducting a job hazard analysis to determine if other potential hazards are associated with the task and/or environment and then training employees on these hazards based on the findings of the assessment 
  • Engineering, equipment or PPE changes/upgrades to ensure the task or the process of completing said task poses less risk

how to write an incident report police

Incident report examples and design tips

Here are some examples of types of incident reports to help you get started. I’ve also included some report design tips to help you present your information effectively. If you want to dig a bit deeper into the topic , here’s a comprehensive guide to general report design that I find handy.

Incorporate your branding into your report design

As with any document you create for your business, it’s good practice to incorporate your branding into your incident reports. (Psst– Venngage’s Brand Kit feature makes it easy to add your branding in just a click!) 

Include your brand colors in your design. You can do this by using them in the report header, footer, sidebar and in any visuals. 

You could use your brand colors in the background of your incident report:

how to write an incident report police

You may also want to include your logo, like in this incident report template : 

how to write an incident report police

Organize your information into sections using boxes

To make your information as readable as possible, organize it into sections. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using boxes.

For example, take a look at how these types of incident report templates use boxes to section off the information:

how to write an incident report police

This type of incident report example also uses rectangles to denote section headers:

Simple Incident Report Template

Color code the sections of your incident case report

Colors aren’t just great for making your reports , presentations and charts more interesting to look at. You can also use color to organize sections of your report and to draw attention to key information. 

For more tips on using color in your designs, read our guide on how to pick colors to communicate effectively .

how to write an incident report police

Add a visual header to your incident report

As part of your company branding, you may want to add a visual header to your reports. For example, this incident case report template uses a neutral photo with a color filter to create a professional header:

how to write an incident report police

You can do this in Venngage by overlaying a photo on a color background and adjusting the opacity of the photo: 

Image Opacity Venngage

You can use the same effect for sidebars as well: 

how to write an incident report police

Make a mock form to offer new team members as an example

If you’re transitioning in staff or something happens when the individual who owns incident reports is away, it’s very important that there is a process documented . That will ensure that if someone is put on the spot, they can fill in the incident report properly.

It can also be helpful to add brief descriptions of the information in the type of incident report to include in each field. Take a look at how this incident report example offers some brief text to guide the person filling it out:

how to write an incident report police

Use icons to visualize concepts

Icons are small, compact visuals that can be used to reinforce the information in your reports. You can also use them to draw attention to specific fields and important pieces of information. 

For example, this incident case report template uses icons to indicate the purpose of each field:

how to write an incident report police

Incident report examples

Covid-19 employee incident report template.

how to write an incident report police

Blue healthcare employee critical incident report template

how to write an incident report police

Although being prepared for the unexpected is often difficult, preventative measures are the cornerstone of maintaining a happy and healthy working environment for yourself and your workforce.  

Incident reports are not only a defining piece in any company’s incident response protocol, but they provide a means to avoid recurring mishaps and/or inspire change. 

That’s why it is crucial to have a relevant and comprehensive incident report form prepared and on hand for any incident details that may arise. By adhering to your jurisdiction’s legislation and considering the four components prescribed above, you’ll be well-prepared to handle incidents effectively.

The effect of responding to workplace incidents in a timely and detail-oriented manner will not only ensure a safe workplace but also: 

  • Reassure your employees that their employer is prepared to take the right steps in any situation 
  • Ensure all appropriate parties are fully informed of incidents 
  • Establish a record of incidents for future reference 
  • Protect both you/your company and your employees from lawsuits and disputes

FAQs about incident reports

What is the purpose of incident reporting.

An incident report is used to describe an event that requires an investigation that needs to be documented.

Types of incident reports

  • Accident Reports
  • Workplace Incident Report

What are the 4 types of incidents?

Commonly, incidents can be categorized into four main types:

  • Accidents: Involving unintended harm, damage or injury.
  • Near Misses: Situations where an accident could have occurred but was narrowly avoided.
  • Unsafe Conditions: Reports about hazardous or unsafe environments that need attention.
  • Unsafe Acts: Documenting incidents involving violations of safety procedures or rules.

Incident reports generally cover a variety of situations and the specific types may vary based on context and industry. It’s important to note that these categories can overlap and the classification may differ depending on the reporting system or industry standards.

More HR guides and templates:

  • 12 Powerful Performance Review Examples (+ Expert Tips By an HR Manager)
  • 17 Essential Human Resources Poster Templates

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August 05, 2023

How to Write a Police Report: A Step-by-Step Guide

Brian Humenuk | Author | COPJOT

By  Brian Humenuk ,   MS|CJA,  COPJOT

Updated on August 1, 2023

6-minute read or less

1. Introduction

Reports are a part of policing that over time get fine-tuned as new case law develops and agency policy and procedure changes. Make sure you read to the end of this article where I deep dive into this fine-tuning process that sub-consciously evolves.

As a Field Training Officer, much of my time is spent teaching new officers how to investigate incidents, gather information, and write reports. As a supervisor I look for signs that newer officers have a solid information gathering and report writing foundation laid down and then I assist with getting those skills to the next level. 

Using this article my goal is to help you with:

  • Why police report writing is an important aspect of being a cop.
  • Step-by-step guide to the several parts of the report narrative.
  • Common mistakes and best tips for report writing.
  • A bunch of great advice.

Here is my first and one of my best pieces of advice. There is no best report writer. There is however many great report writers.

You should be reading your co-workers reports and taking the best parts of each in order to formulate your report writing skills.

Your agency is probably filled with law enforcement officers who do certain aspects of their jobs well.

Job aspects like information gathering, report writing time management, formatting of names and more. 

Let's wait no further and dive in.  

2. Why is writing police reports important? 

  • Documentation is key. As a police officer , you need to document your presence at a call for service in which you take some kind of action. The action you take may be to forward an investigation to another division in the police department, make an arrest, file formal charges, advise parties, document the use of force, etc. 
  • Your incident report will be saved in your agency database and may be used for many purposes including a lawful public record request, inquiry into discovery by the defense in a criminal case, subpoena by a law firm for a civil court matter, used to further an investigation, used by Internal Affairs to conduct an inquiry or investigation into a matter.
  • Arrest reports contain probable cause which gives you justification for taking action. These reports will be read by a good number of people in the court system. 
  • Your report narrative can be used to assist you in preparing to testify in court. The more detailed your report is the better it will assist you with preparing for a potential appearance on the stand.
  • The contents of your report can be used to place a suspect in a certain place at a certain time, driving a certain car, and wearing certain clothing. This may assist an investigation that had been active or one that is in the future. 
  • How many times have you received a phone call requesting information about a suspect from another law enforcement agency? Old police reports can be valuable to law enforcement agencies seeking information.

3. How to write a Police Report: Step-by-step guide

Police report writing format has its own rules and guidelines compared to that of an essay or research paper. Thus, being a great writer in college doesn’t mean you can become a police officer and start writing excellent narratives.

Although report writing policies and procedures may differ depending on which agency you work for the basic guidelines universally apply just like the police  10 codes .

While on scene interviewing witnesses and suspects and gathering information to write a police report it is prudent to write down all of the information in a good police notebook .

You can find the best police notebooks, custom police notebooks, and write-in-the-rain notebooks at COPJOT Police Notebooks and Pens by clicking here .

Your facts and identifying information are logged here in your notebook and are called police officer field notes . The better your field notes the better material you will have to write a police report.

If you are here trying to find out how to write a better police report you should start by jotting down detailed notes while interviewing victims and witnesses. 

These notes will be used to fill in the blanks later on while typing your report. 

Report narratives are written in first person, past tense, and organized in chronological order as the events occurred.

How to Write a Police Report: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Four C’s of Police Report Writing

Before you start typing keep the Four C’s in mind when you write reports. They are:

Clear :  Be as specific as possible. Use your field notes for specific chronological events and exact quotes.

Write as you would be speaking to members of a jury. Use terms like I exited my marked police car instead of I alighted from my cruiser. A jury doesn’t understand police jargon or police slang and you will leave them confused. In other words, use everyday language.

Concise : In as few words as possible give a lot of information. If it doesn’t matter if you arrived in a marked police car or unmarked police car leave it out.

If the report narrative you are writing will not result in formal charges and or there are no use of force issues then there is no need to put in an abundance of information. Keep it simple.

Complete : Your report is a summary of events but it  should include all relevant information.  It cannot be a specific word-for-word story of the events that took place. Relevant information will differ depending on the severity of the incident.

Continue reading and I will get further into detail about what complete may look like in different situations. 

Correct : Your police report “shall” be truthful, unbiased, and without opinion. If you don't make that a priority you may find yourself in a pickle further down the line.

Every police officer should know what the Brady decision is and if you don't or you would like to learn more check out my article " Brady Violations; What they mean for Law Enforcement Officers ".

In a police report, you shouldn’t try and create chicken salad out of chicken shit! This will eventually get you in trouble.

It is very important that if you have probable cause coming in at 60% you don’t write your narrative showing that you have a slam dunk case at 100%. If there are some holes in the case, be truthful about them. Judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys will respect you for being truthful. 

4. Starting your Police Report Narrative

  • Formatting refers to how information is organized and how the report is laid out on the page.  The heading should contain the report date, time, type of event or incident, and officer name. Write it the same way every time so that when you are referencing your old reports you know exactly where to look for the date, time, assignment, location, etc. 
  • The body should be written in paragraph form, left-justified, and single-spaced with a double space between paragraphs. 
  • Number each paragraph starting with 1. The introduction phase should be in paragraph 1. If you are called to testify in court and need to reference your police report to refresh your memory the prosecutor or defense attorney can easily direct you to the numbered paragraph like this. Officer I call your attention to paragraph #5 sentence 2. Your eyes will be directly able to find this paragraph.

The Introduction phase

The introduction establishes why you are on the scene and includes:

  • Day, date, and time - Most agencies use military time
  • Who “you” are. Officer Tony Ruth 
  • Location or address as to where you were sent.
  • Nature of the call or why you were present. 
  • If other officers were present, who were they? Write their full names

On Tuesday, February 4, 2023 , I, Officer Tony Ruth , along with Officers Reed Williams and Karyn Tomlinson responded to 123 Main Street for a report of a break and entering to a motor vehicle. 

5. The Body Phase of a Police Report

Continue numbering your paragraphs. The body explains what happened at the scene by answering the 5W’s and H: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. All of these should have already been written down while at the scene in your police notebook.

This is where you show your probable cause for arrest and formal charging situations. Be specific about satisfying specific elements of a crime. Sometimes a crime has 3 or 4 elements.

Be descriptive and specific when getting into reasons for entry, stopping and holding, making arrests, and use of force incidents. Write a clear picture and remember your great note-taking will guide you through this phase. 

6. The Conclusion Phase of a Police Report

The conclusion should include the final actions of the reporting officer. The suspect or involved party was arrested/charged with a summons for complaint/parties were advised etc. 

Never put in a final opinion unless it is that of expertise and is accepted by the court.

A good rule of thumb is to end the report with:

R espectfully Submitted,

Officer Tony Ruth

Anytown Police Department

7. Common Mistakes and Best Tips for Writing Better Police Reports

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

Officers tend to make grammatical errors such as putting periods and commas outside of quotation marks when they should be placed inside the quotation marks. Other mistakes include capitalization, spelling, and punctuation errors.

These errors can be easily picked up on by using spell check, proof reading it, and having a co-worker put a second set of eyes on it. 

Check your work and double check your work

Before sending your report to a supervisor or officer of higher rank you should always double check your work and if a co-worker is available have them proof read it.

Be coachable and open to suggestions especially from experienced police officers. 

Never send a report up the chain for approval that has not been proof read and spell checked. 

Leaving out the results of the investigation

Another common mistake police make in their reporting is leaving out critical details of an investigation, including the results.

Making assumptions is never allowed in police report writing, some officers may write thorough and detailed accounts of their investigation but fail to report the final result.

Not making an effort

Laziness will come back to bite you and sometimes that bite will be a big one.

A good police officer will write reports even when policy and procedure say that you don't have to but the police officer has a feeling that the circumstances surrounding the person, place, or thing investigated say to write a police report.

Factual mistakes

Factual inaccuracies on police reports are more common than you may think.

Police officers may record incorrect times, license plate numbers, driver's license numbers, names, addresses, and other critical details needed in a criminal case.

This can be solved by jotting down the pertinent information of your investigation into the police notebook you carry in the field. If you don't have a good police notebook visit www.COPJOT.com and pick yourself up one.

These custom police notebooks will assist you in professional police field note-taking and take the mistakes out of your report writing.

Incomplete or missing elements of a crime

Each crime has specific elements that must be satisfied if you are to develop sufficient probable cause for an arrest and then prove your case in court. Failing to articulate each element of the crime may also call into question the legality of your actions. The simplest way to avoid this is to obtain a copy of the statute for the crime you are investigating.

Leaving out parties involved in the incident

It is important to gather information on witnesses and other participants even if they are not formally charged.

Master carding other people involved can be important for your police department, whether in this case or a future inquiry. It doesn't hurt to ask people for a phone number where they can be reached. When you enter a person in your report be sure to add the phone number.

Never try and predict the future

Your job is to document and write about the past. If you write about a future prediction and it doesn't come true a good defense attorney will ask you what else about your police report is untrue.

We all make mistakes and so will you

Learn from them and make adjustments. If you have a bad day in court against a great defense attorney, learn from that experience and make the proper adjustments to better your reports and better yourself.

Fine-tune your report writing over time

It may take a few years but you will start to understand where and when you will need to throw that report writing into overdrive.

A simple fraud report with no named suspect will differ from a triple stabbing with a clear suspect, witness statements, and scene video. 

Also over time, you will get to understand which cases tend to get plea deals, which go to trial, and which go to trial that will be defended by a top-notch attorney. 

About the Author

Brian Humenuk   isn't just an entrepreneur in eCommerce, he is also an informed leader whose experience provides followers and visitors with a look into current and past police issues making headlines in the United States.

Brian has earned three degrees in Criminal Justice with the last, a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice Administration.

Brian extends his training, education, and experience to the officers just now getting into the field so that they may become more informed police officers and stay clear of police misconduct and corruption. 

You can find out more about Brian and the COPJOT story on the  ABOUT US  page .

More Information

Are you a Police Officer, Sheriff or State Trooper, Law Enforcement family member or friend check out our   Custom Police Notebooks   and   Metal Police Uniform Pens   here   on our   main website .

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  • Incident Report: Examples, Form Templates & Writing Guide

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The saying, “accidents are bound to happen” is true for every individual and organization. In fact, it is normal to encounter incidents that have a far-reaching effect on productivity and when this happens, such an event should be accurately documented in an incident report.

An incident report, therefore, is the first step any individual or organization should take upon the occurrence of any unforeseen event that affects its output while putting other persons at risk. In this article, we will highlight the different features of an incident report and show you how to create an incident report form on Formplus . 

What is an Incident Report?

An incident report is a document that accurately provides the details of an incident; especially one that causes damages, injury, or death. It helps an organization to accurately profile the different events leading to such an incident and the aftermath(s) of this occurrence. 

It is also referred to as an accident report because it typically outlines information relating to an accident or injury. However, an incident report can also contain information about near misses or other unusual or hazardous happenings in different contexts. 

Features of an Incident Report  

An incident report is defined by the following features:

  • Detailed Description : It narrates all the events surrounding the incident in question in their exact manner of occurrence. An incident report may include the following information: 
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident.
  • Date, time, and location of the incident.
  • The details on witnesses and victims, if any.
  • Reactionary measures put in place.
  • The aftermath of the incident.
  • Corrective actions are taken to reduce the likelihood of another incident. 

The more specific the incident report is, the more useful it will be in informing corrective decisions. 

  • Facts : In an incident report, only the facts are stated. In this document, the reporter is not expected to communicate his or her feelings or opinions about the incident as this can distort the accuracy of the report and distract the organization from the details of the event. 
  • Objectivity : An incident report must be written in an objective manner that is devoid of any emotions; regardless of the nature of the incident. The reporter must take extra care to avoid sentiments that can get in the way of an objective presentation of the details of the incident. 
  • Sequence: An incident report presents events chronologically, that is, in their sequence of occurrence. The details must be organized in a logical manner that is easy to read, navigate and understand, and you are free to use subheadings and bullet points where applicable. 
  • Witness Statements : When necessary, include first-hand information provided by witnesses about the incident. This can be in the form of direct statements made by the witnesses and they should be placed within quotation marks while you also provide information that explains the witnesses’ positions.
  • Authorization: An incident report must be formally authorized by the reporter and other supervisor officers in the organization. This validates the information provided and it is important for the supervisory officer to proofread the information provided before appending his or her signature on the document. 

Types of Incident Reports

1. workplace incident report  .

A workplace incident report is a form that is used to profile physical occurrences that impact an employee’s productivity in the workplace. It includes workplace injuries, near misses, and accidents that have a negative impact on the employee (s) and the organization, in general. 

Usually, labor laws specify the kind of information that should be spelled out in a workplace incident report. This type of incident report may also highlight an employee’s concerns with an organization’s safety practices, security breaches, and workplace conduct. 

Examples of workplace incident reports include:

  • A report about sexual harassment or assault in the workplace.
  • A report about a fire incident that occurred within the office premises. 

2. Accident Report  

An accident report is a type of incident report that contains information about an accident or emergency that may be fatal, ghastly, or minor. An accident report is not restricted to the workplace as it can also be filed by law enforcement agents and safety officers. 

It is also referred to as an accident investigation report because it highlights all the probable causative factors that are responsible for the accident. It also helps the concerned parties to determine the extent of the damage and to support or refute insurance claims. 

Examples of accident reports include:

  • A report on a fatal plane crash.
  • A report of an explosion on an organization’s premises.

3. Security/Police Incident Report . 

A police incident report is a type of incident report that is used to keep track of the thefts/losses and any other types of security events that take place within specific premises. This report is important because it helps an organization keep track of security breaches and safety measures.

A security or police incident report is usually filed by the security personnel in charge of the premises where the security breach took place. It can also be filed in cases of computer system breaches, unauthorized access to an organization’s database, and compromised user accounts. 

Examples of safety and security incident report include:

  • A report of property theft in an organization.
  • A report on a burglary attempt in a neighborhood. 

Here are 7 Incident Report Form Template

1. incident report form.

Use this incident report form template to swiftly collect information about accidents and injuries as they occur. The Formplus incident report form will help your organization to easily track and record any unfortunate incidents and this information can prove useful in forestalling such an occurrence in the future. 

This form allows you to collect useful information about the victim, the location of the incident, and the nature of the incident. You can edit it in the form builder by adding more form fields to enable you to collect more information such as the signature of the reporter and the time of the report. 

2. Sexual Harassment Complaint Form

Allow your employees and clients to easily report any cases of sexual harassment for immediate investigation and redress using this sexual harassment complaint form . This form template enables victims of sexual harassment to inform the appropriate authorities about sexual abuse and sexual assault in the workplace.

With multiple form sharing options, Formplus allows you to easily share this sexual harassment form with your employees and the general public. You can embed the form on your organization’s website and you can also share it with your official social media pages through the direct sharing buttons.

3. Workplace Harassment Form

The Formplus workplace harassment form allows your employees to file a formal complaint about workplace harassment. This workplace harassment form template will help you to effectively track and address any cases of bullying, sexual harassment or assault in your organization. 

With this form, you can collect a range of important information with regard to the nature of the harassment and the employee details of the complainant and the accused. You can use this form template or edit it to suit your organization’s needs in the form builder. 

4. Online Petition Form

Do you want to advocate for a change or register your displeasure about a particular policy or action? Use this online petition form template to easily create a petition for the government, an individual or an organization. 

In the Formplus online petition form, you can directly collect digital signatures from petition signatories using the e-signature field. Formplus also allows your form respondents to fill and submit your online petition when they have limited or no internet access.

5. Proxy Form

With this proxy form template, you can formally empower a third party to make decisions on your behalf for a specific period of time. This form serves as a legal tender and it helps you to avoid the inconsistencies that are associated with a verbal authorization.  

The Formplus proxy form template contains signature fields that collect the digital signatures of all parties involved in this agreement. You can also edit the form in the builder to include more form fields when you sign up on Formplus

6. Bug Report Form

This bug report form will help you to stay on top of every situation by collecting real-time reports about different issues that may arise with your online services.

This form allows your customers to swiftly register their dissatisfaction with your organization’s online services so that you can resolve them in time. 

7. Daily Report Form

Track your worker’s daily productivity using this daily report form template. The Formplus daily report form allows you to assess your worker’s performance at the end of the day, and you can edit it to suit your organization’s needs in the form builder. 

Can’t find your preferred incident report form? learn how to create one below.

How to Create an Incident Report Form on Formplus

1. sign in to formplus.

In the Formplus builder, you can easily create your organization’s incident report form by dragging and dropping preferred fields into your form. To access the Formplus builder, you will need to create an account on Formplus. 

Once you do this, sign in to your account and click on “Create Form ” to begin. 

2. Edit Form Title

Click on the field provided to input your form title, for example, “Incident Report Form”.

3. Edit Form

Click on the edit button to edit the form.

  • Edit fields: You can modify your form field to be hidden or read-only based on your organization’s needs. 
  • Click on “Save”
  • Preview form. 

4. Form Customization

With the form customization options, you can easily change the outlook of your form and make it more unique and personalized. Formplus allows you to change your form theme, add background images and even change the font according to your needs. 

5. Multiple Sharing Options

How to write an incident report letter.

An incident report letter is a formal document that contains all the information with regard to the particular occurrence that is being reported. A good incident report letter effectively outlines the different events surrounding the incident and suggests measures that can be taken to avoid a recurrence in the future.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write an incident report letter:

Follow the Protocol

Find out if your organization already has a procedure for writing an incident report letter. In many cases, organizations have a template for this type of letter and it is best to follow the provided outline to avoid any inconsistencies. 

Write your Letter as Soon as Possible

Typically, an incident report letter should be sent in, at most, 48 hours after the incident. Writing your letter immediately after the incident would help you to provide vivid and accurate descriptions of the events surrounding the incident. 

Outline the Facts

Usually, an incident report letter follows the 5Ws and 1H format, that is, what, when, where, who, why and how. Typically, it should explicitly state the following:  

  • The time and date of the incident
  • The location of the incident
  • Your name and other bio-data details.
  • The name(s) of any other individual(s) involved in the incident.
  • Provide a general overview of the occurrence.
  • Provide a detailed description of the incident: Write about the incident in the sequence of occurrence, from the first-person point of view. 
  • Suggest proactive measures that can be taken to avoid a recurrence of the incident. 

Incident Report Letter Sample

Uses of incident report  .

  • An incident report allows you to accurately document the details of any occurrence in your organization. This information may be useful in the future when dealing with liability issues stemming from the incident. 
  • It evaluates the incident and provides recommendations on precautionary and reactionary measures to be taken. 
  • An incident report serves as an effective feedback mechanism and it raises the overall awareness of your employees and clients. 
  • It improves the safety culture of your organization. 
  • A near-miss incident report provides invaluable information that enables companies to proactively resolve hazards. 
  • Incident reports can also be used as safety documents that highlight potential risks and uncontrolled hazards found in the workplace.

Conclusion  

When drafting an incident report, it is important for you to accurately reflect the different events in the order in which their order of occurrences. You should also take extra care to document facts and not opinions or hearsays because these will affect the validity and usefulness of the report in the end. 

Finally, it is easier to document an incident report using an online form. Online forms are more convenient and you can easily embed them on your organization’s website or share them with your social media pages so that all concerned parties can access them easily. 

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how to write an incident report police

How To Write An Incident Report (And Use It To Improve Safety)

In our daily lives, unexpected events can occur at any moment, especially in a dynamic workplace or other complex environments. These events, often referred to as incidents, can range from minor mishaps to significant emergencies . But what happens after an incident occurs? How do organizations ensure that they learn from these experiences and prevent them from happening again? The answer lies in a critical process known as workplace incident reporting .

What is Incident Reporting?

Incident reporting is the process of documenting all details of an unexpected event in a workplace or other environment. It's not just about jotting down what happened; it's a systematic approach to capturing the who, what, where, when, and why of an incident.

The Incident report is a vital tool for safety, compliance and continuous improvement.

  • Safety : By analyzing incidents, organizations can identify risks and hazards, leading to more robust safety measures.
  • Compliance : Many industries have legal requirements to report specific incidents. Proper reporting ensures that organizations meet these obligations.
  • Continuous Improvement : Incident reports are learning tools. They help organizations understand their weaknesses and strengths, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and growth.

Whether you're a manager overseeing a large team, an employee responsible for safety, or simply someone interested in organizational best practices, this guide will provide you with the insights and tools needed to make incident reporting a valuable part of your daily operations.

Get To Know More About Incident Reports

An incident report is a formal record of an unexpected or unusual event that could have or did result in harm or other consequences. Why is it formal? An incident report needs to be structured to capture essential details. The insights and evidence gained from incident details can be crucial for various purposes including route cause analysis.

  • Purpose : The primary purpose of an incident report is to provide a clear and concise account of the incident. It serves as a valuable tool for understanding what happened, why it happened, and what can be done to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
  • Common Elements : An incident report typically includes specific details such as the date and time of the incident, the people involved, the location, a description of the event, any injuries or damages, and the actions taken in response. These elements ensure that the report is not only informative but also actionable.
  • Usage Across Industries : Incident reports are not confined to a particular sector or industry. From healthcare to construction, from IT to retail, incident reports are used universally to maintain safety standards, comply with regulations, and foster a culture of accountability and continuous improvement.

Types of Incident Reports

Incidents are as varied as the environments in which they occur. From a minor equipment malfunction in a manufacturing plant to a significant security breach in an IT firm, incidents come in all shapes and sizes. Consequently, incident reports are not one-size-fits-all; they are tailored to the specific nature of the incident and the industry in which it occurs. Understanding the various types of incident reports is crucial for ensuring that the right information is captured and the appropriate actions are taken.

Here's a list of the most common types of incident reports used across different industries:

  • Safety Incidents : These reports cover accidents , injuries, or near misses in the workplace. They are vital in industries like construction, manufacturing, and healthcare, where physical safety is paramount.
  • Security Incidents : In the digital age, security incidents like data breaches or unauthorized access are increasingly common. These reports detail the nature of the security threat and the measures taken to mitigate it.
  • Quality Incidents : In sectors like manufacturing and food processing, quality incidents relate to deviations from quality standards or specifications. These reports help in identifying areas for improvement in product quality.
  • Compliance Incidents : Compliance incidents involve violations of legal or regulatory requirements. These reports are crucial for maintaining adherence to laws and industry standards.
  • Behavioral Incidents : In educational or care settings, behavioral incidents like bullying or misconduct are documented to ensure proper handling and resolution.
  • Medical Incidents : In healthcare, medical incidents such as medication errors or patient falls are meticulously recorded to enhance patient care and safety.

How to Write an Effective Incident Report

Writing an effective incident report requires capturing the essence of an incident in a way that's informative, actionable, and conducive to learning. 

Here are some key steps to guide you in this process

  • Add a 'What Happened' Heading : Start your report with a clear heading that summarizes the incident. This gives an immediate understanding of the event and sets the tone for the rest of the report. For example, "Fire in Warehouse" or "Data Breach in IT Department."
  • Use the 'Was' Sentence Structure : Begin your description with a structure like "The incident was..." to define it clearly. This helps in setting a factual tone and ensures that the report is objective. For instance, "The incident was a fire that broke out in the warehouse on July 15, 2023."
  • Fully Define the Incident in 2-3 Sentences : Be concise yet informative. Describe the incident, its impact, and immediate actions taken. Avoid unnecessary details but ensure that the critical aspects of the incident are covered.
  • Match the Incident Report Format : Follow a standardized format for your report. This typically includes sections like incident details, people involved, actions taken, and recommendations. Adhering to a format ensures consistency and makes the report easier to understand.
  • Include Evidence and Witnesses : Incorporate any supporting information, such as photographs of the incident, CCTV footage, or witness statements. This strengthens the report and provides a more comprehensive picture of the incident.
  • Prioritize Immediate Reporting : Emphasize the importance of reporting the incident as soon as possible. Timely reporting ensures that details are not forgotten and allows for swift action to be taken.
  • Iterate and Review : Review the report for clarity, accuracy, and completeness. Make necessary revisions and check for any missing information. Remember, an incident report is not just a document; it's a tool for learning and improvement.

By following these steps, you can create an incident report that's not just a record of an event, but a valuable resource for understanding, learning, and preventing future incidents. In the next sections, we'll delve deeper into each type of incident report, providing you with specific insights and examples to guide your reporting process .

Benefits of Proper Incident Reporting

  • Improved Safety : By documenting incidents, organizations can identify patterns, uncover risks, and implement measures to prevent future occurrences. This leads to a safer work environment and a culture that prioritizes employee well-being.
  • Ensured Compliance : Many industries have legal or regulatory requirements for incident reporting. Proper reporting ensures that these obligations are met, avoiding potential penalties and maintaining the organization's reputation.
  • Learning Opportunities : Each incident report is a learning opportunity. It provides insights into what went wrong, why it happened, and how it can be prevented, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Accountability and Transparency : Incident reports promote accountability and transparency. They provide a clear record of events, actions taken, and decisions made, ensuring that all stakeholders have access to the same information.

To further illustrate the importance of proper incident reporting, let's contrast it with the risks of inadequate reporting in the table below:

Wrapping Up

Workplace incident reporting is a critical process to ensure you prevent future incidents from occurring. Rather than making mistakes and sweeping them under the rug, organizations can learn from mistakes and improve worker safety. I hope this article has shed some light on how to write an effective incident report. But what are your next steps? Check out our free Incident Report Template that can help you turn an incident into an opportunity to improve worker safety and meet compliance. Download the interactive PDF here.

We cover a range of topics in our articles - view all blogs .

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Examples

Police Report

how to write an incident report police

Unfortunately, there are a lot of incidents that one could go through that would involve the police—situations like being the victim of a robbery, for example. If you are a member of law enforcement, you have to help these people. One way you can start is by writing down their experiences and making a report out of it. In this article, we will show you how to come up with a police report .

10+ Police Report Examples

Sample police accident report.

Sample Police Accident Report1

Police File Report

Police File Report

Size: 309 KB

Police Incident Report

Police Incident Report

Size: 271 KB

Police Crime Report Example

Police Crime Report Example

Size: 223 KB

Police Evidence Report in PDF

Police Evidence Report in PDF

Size: 71 KB

Police Grant Report

Police Grant

Size: 377 KB

Police Loss Report

Police Lost Report

Size: 14 KB

Police Investigation Report

Police Narrative Report

Size: 17 KB

Police Verification

Police Verification

Size: 212 KB

Police Clearance

Police Clearance

What Is a Police Report?

A police report is an important document stating a record of a criminal incident, such as assault, identify theft, or robbery, for example. Any representative in the police department can write a police report. Making a report needs to be dangerous because it involves legal procedures. The law enforcement team also writes them after someone reports an accident or crime to them.

How To Write a Police Report

In the last three decades (1990-2018), there has been a decline in reports on violent crimes in the United States, as shown by Statista research. Whatever the reasons are, know that a well-written police report can go a long way in resolving an issue. 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. Take their information as well so that you can follow up on them for any more details.

2. Include Official Details

To make your police reports look real is to place the logo and official information in the form. Include the name and address of the police department in the format of your police report. This will help other officers easily identify the legitimate copy of the police report. This is vital, especially since this is a legal document.

3. Write The Narrative

When making a police report, be meticulous when writing down how the incident went. This is important as it can help investigators solve the situation much quicker. Pay attention to whoever is giving the statement , and don’t leave a single detail out.

4. Note The Crime and Suspects

As you note the incident, try to identify the potential suspects and the crime committed in your police report. That way, investigators and other officers will be up to speed once they take a look at your statement.

Can I get a police report online?

Yes, you can! Usually, you can get a police report by visiting your local precinct and reporting an incident to an officer. Nowadays, a lot of police departments have websites that allow you to do it online.

What happens after I file a police report on a crime?

After you file a police report, an officer would lead an investigation to look further into the case and decide whether the suspect should face arrest. If the grounds of detention are dangerous, they get a warrant for arrest and charge the criminal.

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.

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Shinde, Fadnavis tell police to crack the whip in killer Porsche case

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis have directed stringent action in the case of a car accident involving a 17-year-old boy, in which two persons were killed, the Pune police chief said on Tuesday.

how to write an incident report police

The high-end Porsche car, allegedly driven by the juvenile, who the police claim was drunk at the time, knocked down two motorbike riders in the Kalyani Nagar area of Pune city in the early hours of Sunday,

The police have detained the boy's father, who is a real estate developer, and arrested three executives of two hotels for serving liquor to the juvenile, they said.

"The chief minister, deputy chief minister and home minister ( Fadnavis ), and the ( Pune ) guardian minister ( deputy CM Ajit Pawar ) have given clear instructions to the police to take stringent action in this case. The state director general of police has also instructed for strong action," Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar told reporters.

He was addressing the public's concern that the police was not taking adequate action in the case.

Kumar affirmed that both the government and the police were committed to take stringent measures against those responsible.

Asked about any pressure on the police in this case, the official said that from the beginning, the police have been acting according to the law and there was no pressure from any quarter.

"I mentioned yesterday that we are ready to discuss every legal step taken by the police. We have taken the most stringent possible action. If legal experts believe there are more stringent provisions available, they should come forward for a public discussion," he said.

Kumar said on the first day itself, the police invoked IPC Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), in addition to section 304A (causing death by negligence).

"We also moved an application before a court seeking permission to treat the juvenile as an adult due to the heinous nature of the act. Unfortunately, the court rejected our application. We have now approached the district sessions court and are awaiting the judgment," he said.

Kumar said the blood report of the juvenile was still awaited. However, the CCTV footage of the restaurants and bill payments made there indicate that the juvenile had consumed alcohol, he said.

On the allegations of "preferential treatment" being given to the juvenile while in custody, Kumar said stringent action will be taken against the police personnel if they are found to be aiding the teenager directly or indirectly.

A group of friends were returning on motorbikes at around 3.15 am on Sunday after a party when the speeding Porsche hit one of the motorcycles at Kalyani Nagar junction killing two riders -- Anis Awadhiya and Ashwini Costa, both 24-year-old IT professionals and hailing from Madhya Pradesh -- the police said.

The accused teenager was subsequently produced before the Juvenile Justice Board which granted him bail hours later.

A case has been registered against the youngster under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder ) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, as per the police

The police had registered a case against the teenager's father, a real estate developer, under sections 75 and 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act, and against the owners and staff members of the bar establishments for serving alcohol to an underage person.

The probe in these cases has been transferred to the crime branch, an official said earlier.

Section 75 deals with "willful neglect of a child, or exposing a child to mental or physical illnesses," while section 77 deals with supplying a child with intoxicating liquor or drugs.

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Peru police report 13 dead in Andean highway crash

L IMA (Reuters) -Police in Peru reported 13 people killed in a crash on a highway in the South American country's Andean region, according to a radio announcement on Tuesday, marking the latest fatal incident in a place where such accidents are frequent.

The crash involving a vehicle belonging to the Interprovincial Civa transport company took place at 6:30 a.m. (1130 GMT) near Vinchos as the bus traveled from the capital Lima to Ayachucho, local authorities said in a statement.

They initially reported 14 injured but police colonel Jhonny Valderrama later told Canal N television there were at least 18.

Seven ambulances were dispatched to the site as well as around two dozen health personnel, Ayacucho district authorities said, adding that the injured had been taken to three separate hospitals for treatment.

Health personnel remain at the site, authorities said.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Sarah Morland; Editing by Kylie Madry)

A law enforcement officer stands near an ambulance at a site of a crash on a highway in Ayacucho, Peru, May 14, 2024, Regional Government of Ayacucho/Handout via REUTERS

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Police Report: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

    3. Use diagrams. Draw a picture or diagram in your report if it is difficult to explain certain information in words. You may also want to use a picture or diagram to show what the scene of the incident looked like. [11] [12] Police officers often have to write reports about auto accidents.

  2. How to write a police report

    Introduce the people, property and other information before it is discussed. For example, with a convenience store robbery, set the time, location and victim before you describe the action. Mr. Jones was working as a store clerk on Jan 12th, 2013, at the Mid-Town Convenience store, 2501 E. Maple Street, at 2315 hours.

  3. Perspective: Writing Clear, Effective Police Reports

    Report writing continues to be a vital task for law enforcement. Police officers often have heard that the most powerful instrument they carry is a pen. 1 Unfortunately, writing reports sometimes intimidates recruits, instructors, administrators, and even seasoned officers. Law enforcement reports become scrutinized more than most documents. 2 Fear of mistakes often triggers memories of school ...

  4. How to Write an Incident Report

    Location, date and time: The "where and when" of any incident is a must. Be as specific as you can with location, and with date and time. Names of individuals involved: List all people involved in the incident. Give the full name and any title or role, i.e., Robert Patterson, Security Guard.

  5. PDF Writing a Police Report

    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.

  6. PDF #434 Principles of Report Writing

    Complete. To make a complete report, an officer must understand the elements of a particular crime and be able to answer the six basic questions that police hear about so often. It is much eas-ier to tell someone to answer the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How questions than it is to do it.

  7. How to Write an Effective Incident Report

    Step 5: Take Action. This refers to the actions that should be taken after the incident. It includes corrective actions that will eliminate recurrence of the incident. The corrective actions section of your incident report can also include the actions that you need to take in order to complete the report.

  8. PDF REPORT WRITING GUIDE

    the incident and investigation from start to inish. Follow the "5W's and H" (who, what, when, where, why, how) as a framework for writing the narrative. The use of specific technical terms, obscene language, or slang terms in a police report should be avoided whenever possible, unless the words were used as part of a direct quote and

  9. How to Write an Incident Report [+ Templates]

    And end your investigation with determining recommendations for preventing both an increase in the severity of the incident and the possibility of a recurrence. To write any incident case reports, follow the basic format described below. USE THIS INFOGRAPHIC TEMPLATE. 1. Take immediate action.

  10. How to Write a Police Report (Pro Examples & Templates)

    Title: The title should state who the report is about. For example, if it's a robbery report, you'll want to use the word "robbery" in the title, same with an assault or burglary report. If multiple cases pertain to one person (domestic violence and assault), the title should include the person's name. Officer name: The officer's ...

  11. Training Time With Terry

    Terry discusses the five steps to take when writing an incident report, and also covers report writing tips, dos, and don't's.

  12. How to Write a Police Report: A Step-by-Step Guide

    5. The Body Phase of a Police Report. Continue numbering your paragraphs. The body explains what happened at the scene by answering the 5W's and H: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. All of these should have already been written down while at the scene in your police notebook.

  13. What Is a Police Incident Report?

    Police Incident Report: Definition. Right off the bat, the most defining characteristic of an incident report is that it is not written by the police. When a crime occurs and is reported to the police, the victim of the crime makes a statement regarding the incident. This is the incident report. The incident report may include supporting ...

  14. Incident Report: Examples, Form Templates & Writing Guide

    3. Security/Police Incident Report. A police incident report is a type of incident report that is used to keep track of the thefts/losses and any other types of security events that take place within specific premises. This report is important because it helps an organization keep track of security breaches and safety measures.

  15. PDF Report Writing Manual

    The purpose of this manual is to provide guidance to police and community service officers at the Sacramento State Police Department regarding report writing. A law enforcement officer's ability to document the facts and activities of an incident directly reflects of the professionalism of the officer and the department, and also affects the ...

  16. How To Write An Incident Report (And Use It To Improve Safety)

    Fully Define the Incident in 2-3 Sentences: Be concise yet informative. Describe the incident, its impact, and immediate actions taken. Avoid unnecessary details but ensure that the critical aspects of the incident are covered. Match the Incident Report Format: Follow a standardized format for your report.

  17. What Is In a Police Accident Report & How Do I Get a Copy?

    In the context of a car accident case, a police report is a written document that is usually generated at the scene of the crash, typically by the responding law enforcement officer. The police report often contains: details of the crash and the people/vehicles/property involved. statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses.

  18. Car Accident Police Report: When & How To Get A Report

    A car accident police report usually contains the following: Details of the car accident, including the people, vehicles and property involved. Identifying information about parties involved may ...

  19. Police Report

    2. Include Official Details. To make your police reports look real is to place the logo and official information in the form. Include the name and address of the police department in the format of your police report. This will help other officers easily identify the legitimate copy of the police report. This is vital, especially since this is a ...

  20. Recreating the Scene: An Investigation of Police Report Writing

    Abstract. Police officers do a significant amount of high-stake writing in police reports, but report writing is given little attention in policy academies, and prevailing guidelines treat the task as a mechanical process of recording facts. As a result, officers are ill-prepared for this essential and inherently complex task.

  21. Shinde, Fadnavis tell police to crack the whip in killer Porsche case

    The police had registered a case against the teenager's father, a real estate developer, under sections 75 and 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act, and against the owners and staff members of the bar ...

  22. Peru police report 13 dead in Andean highway crash

    LIMA (Reuters) -Police in Peru reported 13 people killed in a crash on a highway in the South American country's Andean region, according to a radio announcement on Tuesday, marking the latest ...

  23. Juvenile accused in Pune car accident granted bail with conditions

    The conditions include the following: The accused should work with the traffic police of Yerawada for 15 days; accused should write an essay on accident; should get treatment from the concerned ...