A well written police report is what every police officer should strive to achieve. The report needs to have key items in it to ensure a thorough report. These key items can be broken down into four categories: completeness, conciseness, clarity and accuracy. This paper will discuss what the listed keys are in detail. It will also discuss why they are important and what might happen if one or all of them are not answered.
Police reports need to be complete. A reasonable person needs to be able to look at that report and be able to understand the who, what, where, when and maybe the why, although that might not be initially clear. The term "reasonable person" is used because it is used for the definition of things such as probable cause and reasonable suspicion. This is because not only does the writer read the police report, but co-workers within the department, prosecutors, defendants attorney, news media, judges, and maybe even the supreme court.
Many people read these reports and the fact that it may not be complete will most likely not lead to a conviction but reflect negatively on the writer. In order for the report to be complete, the writer needs to make sure they get all the facts at the time of the incident. This is where the who, what, where, when and why come into play. Without these being answered, it is assumed that the report will not be complete. This is due to the writer not getting all the required information at the time of the report.
The second key to a well written police report is conciseness. The definition of the word is the condition of being short. This means that the report does not have any minimum word length. The report...