1. A police report captures an entire sequence of events the are reported to an officer by a victim, witnesses, or a suspect. Police reports are permanent documents that can be read by judges, jurors, supervisors, other officers, city officials as well as by insurance adjusters, investigators, civil rights groups, citizens, and media. A well-written report must be factual, accurate, and objective. Effective police report writing requires training and attention to detail considering a police report is presented to introduce facts to a case without any bias and reflects the attention of the investigator through the accuracy of the report. If a police report has errors a person could raise questions about an entire investigation and bring to question the accuracy of other evidence presented that may be referenced within a police report.
2. Police reports are permanent records consisting of facts for a case. Such records are of high importance because they are utilized and referred to throughout the investigation. Reports help with past events, communication amongst officers, ongoing investigations, preparation for court to provide hard evidence, help refresh a witness memory, acts as a timeline of events, gives an idea of what steps are next and help focus on individual officers, as well as their department. Writing reports can evaluate how departments conduct investigations and reflect on the education of the officers. Reports must have content and form to establish facts that are accurate, while being grammatically correct, clear, and concise. These reports are read by numerous people, for example, attorney’s, citizens, social workers, etc. Creating well-written reports make operations “more [efficient] and [effective]” (Hess 2017) by saving time and resources. This also gives the department a positive outlook.
3. The primary goal of police reports is to effectively record factual observations that will help investigations and criminal prosecution. Orthmann et al. (2017) mentions that reports are used to examine the past, document record incidents, keep police officers informed, prepare court cases, refresh a witness’s memory, compile statistics on crime, etc. With such great usage of reports, it is important that police departments are knowledgeable about effective report writing. When an officer effectively writes notes, they will often be used in courts and serve as a reminder of what was said, but most importantly it has the potential to convict the right offender. The goals of report writing help prosecute a crime due to the known facts and effective reports only minimize the risk of losing a case.The reports are important to an investigation as they are used in courts and not just filed away (Orthmann et al., 2017). They hold a significant importance as reports often determine whether a suspect is arrested, sentenced, and convicted. An officer who writes inadequate reports can bring negative attention to their credibility and potentially cause the police department to lose a suspect or witness (Orthmann et al., 2017). It will also attract negative attention from the press and civilians, which can only raise question in how they write their reports. Orthmann et al. (2017) shares that an incomplete report can jeopardize a criminal prosecution and affect the prosecution’s argument. Missing details can be seen as questionable in court as it gives the defense an opportunity to prove the defendant’s innocence (Orthmann et al., 2017).
4. The primary goals of a police report are to capture the initial interaction of a crime, reflect on what suspects or victims are stating, demonstrate what police observe on the scene, and relate a complete understanding of what occurred overall, accurately and thorough. A well written report should begin with an opening paragraph stating where the officer was dispatched to, what time they arrived on scene, what the initial radio call was, and what happened when they first arrived on scene. The next paragraph should go on to state what the arguements were from each party. What the suspect, and victim stated that occurred during this time and a refelction on their body language movements, and any thing that the officer could observe while just talking with them (marks, bruises, arguments). To end the report, officers should include what they did, and the actions they took, whether it was seperating the parties, towing a vehicle, etc. By writing a well written report at the initial incident, officers and officials are able to recall what occurred with confidence, and accuracy. With knowing the information from the police report, prosecutors are able to use it to their advantage during the trial of the crime, as well as investigators who can use it to investigate a crime more in depth. For investigators police reports can become vital in showing deception and untruthfulness as they have an initial statement to reflect on. These goals that used to formate a police report will help prosecute a crime because they can be used against the defendant and become useful in preparing a case, during testifying for officers to reflect on, by judges to determine facts, and by jury to determine results at trial. Considering not everyone was at the scene when the crime occurred, or minutes following, these police reports become a vital part of recreating the scene, claims, and behavior around the incident. This is similar to an investigation, if a detective uses a police report, they can detect deception, and use it in beginning a starting point of there investigation. By having reports of another officer, detective are able to get an idea of the suspects behavior and statements before even intiating their investigation. Along with this, police reports also assist in generating a case around a suspect. If a suspect have a lot of police reports against them, investigators are able to put them all together to get an understanding of the criminals past, and some of the crimes that they have been involved in.
5. Police reports are permanent written records of important facts of a case to be used in the future and are a crucial and neccesary to prosecute a crime. The goals of a police report are to be factual, accurate, objective , complete , grammatically correct and legible. (Orthman,2017) These goals will help prosecute the crime becasue it would provide prosecutors an initial report with detailed information from a sworn officer that was their at the scene of the crime. Reports are so imoortant to an investigation becasue they are the first step to an ciminal investigation. Essentially if theirs no report theres no case.