Police Report Essay Spm

Most police reports can be organized into four types. This post deals with Type 1 reports. (For an overview of all four types of reports, click here.)

Here’s a sample Type 1 report:

At 5:22 p.m. on May 12, 2010, I was dispatched to 239 Carol Avenue regarding a theft. Lawrence Cooper (DOB 7-15-1987) reported that his son David’s bicycle had been stolen.

Cooper told me:

-David (DOB 11-04-2001) had brought the bicycle into the carport the evening before (May 11)

-the bicycle wasn’t locked

-the bicycle is a blue Sears boys’  bicycle with black tires and black handlebars

-the bicycle is three years old

David went to the carport after school to ride the bicycle. He saw the bicycle was missing. When his father came home, David told him that the bike had been stolen. Lawrence called the police at 5:20.

No one was home all day. Neither David nor Lawrence knows when the bicycle was stolen. They don’t remember whether it was in the carport this morning. They did not hear any unusual noises last night.

What makes it a Type 1 report?

The answer is that this is a “Just the facts, Ma’am” report. There’s no investigation (Type 2) or intervention (Type 3).

In a Type 1 report, you interview a witness or victim and write down the information – and you’re finished. You might write a Type 1 report after a citizen reports that her bicycle was stolen. Incident reports also fall into this category.

In this type of report, your narrative may be very brief because you don’t do an investigation or make an arrest. You simply record the facts.

Here’s a review of the characteristics of a Type 1 report:

Type 1 Report

EventOfficer’s roleProbable cause?Information neededSpecial requirements
The crime or incident happened before you arrivedRecord what happened (break-in, assault, etc.)Not needed if a citizen requests assistancePiece together and accurately record events that happened before you arrivedAccuracy, logical order of events, and completeness

Here are a few more comments:

  • Notice that this report is written in clear, crisp sentences: “No one was home all day.” “Lawrence called the police at 5:20.” There’s no attempt to impress readers with police jargon or fancy sentences. Puffing up your report with unnecessary words (“The abovementioned victim,” “It was ascertained by this officer”) just wastes time and makes you sound pompous and silly.
  • Notice also that this report includes a timesaving list:

Cooper told me:

-David (DOB 11-04-2005) had brought the bicycle into the carport the evening before (May 11)

-the bicycle wasn’t locked

-the bicycle is a blue Sears bicycle with black tires and black handlebars

-the bicycle is three years old

You’ve been writing lists all your life! It makes sense to use a list when you have several pieces of related information. This is called bullet style, and it’s an efficient practice that smart officers use often.

Notice too that you don’t write your entire report in bullet style! Lists are useful for a series of facts, such as a description of a suspect or a list of stolen items. You can learn more about bullets at this link.


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