Definition of a Police Report

By Shewanda Pugh

A police report is the physical record of an incident deemed to be illegal or potentially illegal. It is taken by a representative of a police department and filed according to said department's procedure. It is also known as an "incident report."

Incident Data

The incident data on a police report typically includes the type of crime alleged (burglary, arson, rape, etc.), the place of occurrence, how it was received and reported (over the phone as an assault), the date and time of the report and the actual incident, any injuries sustained, and what officers are involved.

Reporting Party

The reporting party section records the name, physical appearance, ethnicity, address, date of birth, social security number, marital status and relationship to the perpetrator of the individual reporting the crime.

Victim

The victim section records the name, physical appearance, ethnicity, address, date of birth, social security number, marital status and relationship to the perpetrator of the individual reporting the crime. If damage has occurred to property, or if any property (belonging to the victim or otherwise) is used in the commission of a crime, then a separate section for notating that is used.

Known Suspect

The known suspects section may be singular or multiple, depending upon how many are accused of committing the crime. For each suspect, a thorough physical description and any other known data (such as phone number, address and possible whereabouts) are compiled for later apprehension.

Narrative

The narrative section details the series of events leading to and resulting in the incident. It is a first-hand account given by the victim and any witnesses.

About the Author

Shewanda Pugh attended Alabama A&M University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She also holds a Master of Arts in writing from Nova Southeastern University. Pugh's work has been featured in several print publications, including the "Farquhar Forum," "Go!Riverwalk" and "Foreword Magazine."

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