Get Philadelphia police reports by applying to the Police Records Unit in person or by mail, and paying a fee. Note that Philadelphia accident reports are not available to the public.
Philadelphia Police Reports
Many people think of police reports as the written documents police officers create after traffic accidents. In fact, accident reports may be the only police reports you see in a lifetime. But they are not the only police reports out there and available.
Every time a police officer is called to take statements at a motor vehicle accident, investigate an incident or arrest someone, she prepares or participates in the preparation of a police report. In Philadelphia, all of these reports are held in Police Records Unit, Room 163, City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
The City of Philadelphia has a website that offers information about how to order different city reports. One page deals with police reports, including accident and incident reports.
Philadelphia Incident Report
Philadelphia police prepare an incident report when they investigate a crime or possible crime. For example, if your car is stolen, the police will collect information and file an incident report providing all pertinent facts and most evidence. Likewise, if your neighbor threatens you with a gun, the police come, investigate and file an incident report.
Read More: What Is a Police Incident Report?
Obtaining a Copy of an Incident Report
To get a copy of an incident report, print the application from the Police Report website. You'll need to fill in your name and contact information, the name of the person involved, the nature of the incident and the district control number. If you don't have the control number, go to the police district where the incident happened and obtain it.
Mail the application to the address listed above. You also have to enclose a check for $25 and two self-addressed-stamped envelopes. You'll probably have to wait 10 to 12 weeks to get the report. To check on your order's status, call 215-686-1292.
Philadelphia Police Accident Report
Since 2012, only certain people related to an accident are eligible to get copies of a Philadelphia police accident reports. Only individuals actually involved in an accident, their attorneys, their insurance companies and certain government agencies are entitle to obtain copies.
Obtaining Traffic Accident Reports
You can get traffic accident reports in-person or by mail. Fill out the application and the affidavit establishing your eligibility to obtain a copy. Bring these into the Records Department weekdays between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Alternatively, mail them into the Records Department.
You'll need to pay a fee of $25.00 for each report. Bring or send a stamped, self-addressed envelope as well. Photos of the scene may be available, and they will cost $27.00 for one set of photographs.
- Call in requests are not accepted.
- Wait two to three weeks after the incident date to purchase a copy of the police report.
- There are additional fees if you want to obtain pictures associated with an accident report.
- Only incident reports can be obtained by the walk in option. Accident reports are available by mail or online only.
Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.