A Good Report        

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The Six Characteristics of a Good Report 


Accurate (click for detail)

Accurate means written in exact conformity to fact. In police reports, the facts are reported correctly and specifically.


Clear means the report is plain or evident to the reader; the meaning is unmistakable. The report leaves no doubt in the readers' mind.

Complete (click for detail)

Reports must have all the necessary parts and include the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Crime reports must include the corpus delicti of the crime.

Concise (click for detail)

Concise means to express all the necessary information in as few words as possible. It does not imply leaving our part of the facts in interest of brevity.

Factual (click for detail)

A fact is something real and presented objectively. Facts are things the officer can prove or disprove. Inference and unsubstantiated opinion are not facts and should not be written in police reports. Officers write inferences when they reach conclusion in their reports, based on premises, rather than facts. Unsubstantiated opinions are usually based on premises; however, sometimes they are based on prejudice and bias.

Objective (click for detail)

Objective police reports are not influenced by emotion, personal prejudice, or personal opinion. Officers should record all of the facts, remembering there are always two sides to each story.