Reading police reports is one of the best ways to learn about writing police reports. While you’re reading, you can make decisions about what worked well in the report – and what didn’t.
Below I’ve reproduced a redacted report about a high school athlete in Charleston, South Carolina, last May. (You can also read it at this link: http://www.pjstar.com/news/20180627/nick-in-am-eiu-police-report-details-illini-west-athletes-shooting-aftermath.)
Connor Artman was wounded in an apparent BB-gun attack at a high school boys track and field state meet in Charleston, South Carolina on May 24, 2018
This is what a police report should look like. It is factual and objective. It’s written in normal English. There’s no police jargon. (I found only one problem – a sentence in passive voice: “These items were placed into evidence locker 14.” Who placed them there? That information might be important if there’s an investigation later on.)
Are there any practices here you might want to adopt in your own reports?
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Updated, with a new chapter on Writing Efficiently
“It will definitely help you with your writing skills.” – Joseph E. Badger, California Association of Accident Reconstructionists Newsletter