Writing a Police Report: Key Points to Consider

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D2.1.The work of the police officer implies the participation in a great number of events important for the further development of society and its beneficial functioning. Moreover, these very events comprise the main part of the job of a police officer, and it is vital for him/her to keep in mind and to note the crucial details to highlight the most important peculiarities of the case. The clear report might contribute to the better investigation of the case significantly as every tiny detail has a great impact on the whole case. For this reason, the police officers are taught to create clear and logical reports which include all peculiarities of the accident.

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Therefore, the chronological order of the event means that a police officer records the order in which the events occurred (Bowden, 2013). It is vital to describe all details and provide the information about the background of the event, its main participants and the actions which resulted in the appearance of the need to call the police. A good report usually includes the precise description of the date, time, and other important peculiarities of a certain event. Moreover, a police officer tries to fix all witnesses, participants and suspects to be able to analyze these recordings later. In this regard, the style of their report should be clear and understandable enough for all readers to acquire the clear vision of the major concerns of the event. Additionally, the understandable chronological order of the actions or events presented in the narration contributes to the better analysis of the issue and helps to find the better solution (Marta, 2004). The creation of a good report is more complicated when there are multiple subjects involved in the event, and an officer has to provide their clear description. That is why the chronological order of the event is crucial for police reports.

At the same time, the chronological order of the investigating officer also has a great impact on the analysis of a certain case and its investigation. It is traditionally used in reports related to the investigation of the aspect of an event or the interrogation of a witness or suspect. The investigating officer works with a number of important details; however, he/she is more focused on the analysis of a concern that could help to understand the whole case better. For this reason, the creation of the clear report is also vital for him/her. The usage of the chronological order is crucial for the better understanding of the case and its further investigation (Reports Format, n.d.). The police officers should fix the exact date and time of their investigation and the results obtained

However, one should remember the difference between the chronological order of the investigating officer and the chronological order of the event. The last one implies the detailed and chronological description of the main actions and aspects related to the accident. The given pattern is vital for police reports as it serves as the guarantee of their efficiency and contribution to the investigation of the case. The chronological order of the investigating officer implies the description of the results of the investigation of a certain aspect of the event performed by a police officer. The difference is quite significant, and it is vital to be able to distinguish these two elements.

D2.2. There are several styles of the report formatting peculiar to the police reports. The choice of the style is conditioned by the case and the reasons for the completion of a certain report. Besides, there are categories and narrative styles which differ from each other; however, they are both used in the work of a police officer. Traditionally, a narrative is written after completing an investigation (Writing a Police Report Narrative, n.d.). It tends to present the main findings and analyze the major concerns of the case. For this reason, the narrative style admits the usage of the long descriptive passages and the presence of the detailed analysis of an object or action. Furthermore, the narrative style also implies the precise chronological description of an event, its main participants, and results. However, it still remains factual and highlights only the crucial information related to the accident or event. Additionally, sometimes the narrative style is considered to be the easiest one as it is used mainly for the description of the causes of the arrest, the events, etc. (Redwine, 2003). However, the possibility to include a number of facts and additional information to the report is one of its great advantages. Moreover, it helps a police officer to present the event in the chronological order and investigate it better.

At the same time, the category style implies the existence of certain points needed for the better classification of the information and its presentation. The report written in accordance with the given style is shorter and more concise. It presents the main concerns of a certain aspect of the event for a reader to be able to understand the crucial moments. The usage of the given style might sometimes be challenging because of the complexity of the subdivision of the material into several categories and determination of the most important content (Davis, 2010). Yet, it could be rather useful while describing some complex accidents or in case the fast understanding of the issue is needed. Nevertheless, the lack of descriptive details and the inability to include a great number of various details make it less popular than the narrative style and contribute to the usage of the second one.

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2. Every police report obviously has certain special paragraphs used to describe the unique peculiarities of a certain event and highlight the important information related to it. The presence of these special parts of the report is crucial for the further investigation of the accident of event. These sections tend to present the essential information which differs the case from the rest ones and makes it unique. Additionally, the introduction of the special paragraph will contribute to the increase of the value of the report and its practical applicability (Miller & Whitehead, 2015). For this reason, the usage of the special paragraphs is one of the major concerns of the efficient report writing.

3. As stated above, the special paragraph presents the additional information related to a certain event or case. For this reason, it traditionally includes some specifications or unique details which prove the complexity of the case. The marks of the police officer who wrote the report could also be presented there. Furthermore, the report might include the special paragraph to provide the extra information about the time and date of a certain accident or the events preceding it. In this regard, it is taken as the very important part of the official report.

D3.1. Cohesion and coherence are the major concerns of efficient writing. The ability to formulate thoughts and translate them to people impacts the life of a person significantly and results in the formation of the clear language and good writing skills. The usage of the clear and understandable language is crucial for a number of spheres of human activity, and the police belong to one of them. A police officer should be able to present his/her ideas in the clear and understandable way. Unfortunately, there are still several factors that have a great pernicious impact on the writing style of a person and result in the significant deterioration of the cohesion and coherence. The usage of the so-called deadwood words belongs to these factors. Analyzing my own speech, it is possible to determine 5 most frequently used deadwood words


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it is evident that


in order to

in fact

I am sure that I suffer from the usage of deadwood words and they impact my style. making it less understandable. Additionally, the usage of the given words often results in the appearance of numerous misunderstandings. For instance, I used the word currently and the phrase in is evident that while speaking with my friend. The friend failed to understand that I meant a certain period of time at the moment. For this reason, I am more than sure that the usage of the words from the “try…” column will obviously contribute to the significant improvement of the style. They will help to reduce the time needed for the explanation of a certain idea or concept and condition the better mutual understanding between the interlocutors. It follows from these cogitations that the attempt to get rid of deadwood words is one of the crucial tasks of any person who must have the clear writing style. For this reason, the constant monitoring of speech and the creation of the list of deadwood words could trigger the change process impacting the relations of a person with his/her environment. As for me, I constantly try to replace these words with the ones from “try…” column to guarantee my personal growth. I am sure that it is crucial for a would-be specialist as it would contribute to the improvement of my skills in report writing.

The usage of the active voice is another essential concern related to the writing of criminal justice reports. There is the tendency for the overuse of the passive voice in the formal speech and documents. It leads to the depersonalization of the presented information and the absence of the personal attitude. At the same time, the facts presented with the help of passive voice sound weaker and do not have the great impact on a reader. Additionally, the passive voice emphasizes the receiver of the action, not the action itself. For this reason, creating the police report it is better to stick to the usage of the active voice as it makes the sentences sound stronger and influence a reader. Furthermore, the active voice emphasizes the agent and stresses the result of his/her actions. That is why the usage of the active voice could contribute to the improvement of the style of the report.


Case Number

Incident Vehicle Theft

Reporting Officer

At 936 hours on 22nd March 2016, I met with Jack Smith at 61 Avenue regarding a vehicle theft. Mr. Smith stated he left his car near the shop at about 800 hours and went shopping. He said that when he returned from the shop he could not find the car in its place.

Mr. Smith describes his car as a blue 2002 Ford Focus with the white spoiler and wheel disks. The car registration number is FAA – 4567. There is the Confidex Windshield Label on the windscreen. There is also a puppet on the car dashboard. Additionally, there is a great scratch on the left front door and the dent on the left tailgate. Mr. Smith estimated the cars value at $3000.

Mr. Smith said that he did not lock the car as he did not expect the accident of this sort because of the prosperous character of the neighborhood and the absence of the crimes of this sort here.

I conducted a survey of the crime science to find some evidence; however, I failed. There were no signs of break-in like broken glass etc.

There were no witnesses to the accident as the street was empty at this early hour.

I obtained Mr. Smiths sworn statement and provided him with the case number and the Leaflet related to the issue. I also added the vehicle to the database of the stolen cars.

Having created the report, the importance of the main principles of KISS becomes obvious. They state that the system functions the best when it is simple, and all its parts are clear and not complicated (Keep It Simple Stupid Principle (KISS Principle), n.d.). It also means that the simplicity should be the main value appreciated when designing a certain program, performing some task, or writing a report. The given pattern will contribute to the better understanding of the most important concerns related to the issue and promote the further development of the project. Regarding the creation of the police reports, the usage of the KISS principles could be appreciated as the major concern. The principles condition the clear structure of the report and the efficient way of the presentation of the material. These benefits evidence the impact the KISS principles have on the given sphere. Moreover, the understandable character of these principles is taken as another important benefit. A person aiming at the creation of the simple and efficient project might use them while outlining the key concepts and ideas.

As for the above-mentioned vehicle theft report, it could also be characterized by the adherence to the KISS principles. Writing the report, I tried to make it as simple as it is possible. I did not use the complicated constructions and phrases. The language is simple though understandable, and it contributes to the realization of the main event and its major concerns. Furthermore, the report could also be characterized by the usage of the active voice which makes it sound more persuasive.

To summarize, the usage of the KISS principles is crucial for the creation of the official police reports. They guarantee the clear structure and the simplicity of their understanding. Moreover, the adherence to this practice could contribute the improvement of the level of efficiency of a police officer and help him/her to write ideal reports.


Bowden, J. (2013). Two secrets to good report writing: Organization and clarity

Davis, J. (2010). Report Writing for Criminal Justice Professionals: A Complete Text From English Composition to Interviews and Interrogations. San Clemente, CA: LawTech Publishing Co.

Keep It Simple Stupid Principle (KISS Principle). (n.d.). Web.

Marta, T. (2004). Police Reporting. Web.

Miller, L., & Whitehead, J. (2015). Report Writing for Criminal Justice Professionals. New York: Routledge.

Redwine, P. (2003). The Importance of the Police Report. Web.

Reports Format. (n.d.).

Writing a Police Report Narrative. (n.d.).

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