Below is a summary of a recent police report that was released to the media. Pretend you were a supervisor as you read the report. What changes would you recommend?
Police said a 45-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted Friday afternoon in the 400 block of Carroll Boulevard after confronting another woman about a borrowed bicycle, according to a police report.
Officers responded to the incident around 5:30 p.m. in the 700 block of Fort Worth Drive, where the woman called police. The caller told police she confronted the woman because she wanted her to return a bicycle she had borrowed.
Their verbal argument escalated into a physical altercation, the report states. The woman who borrowed the bike pushed the caller to the ground and wrestled with her for a few moments, according to the report.
Police observed abrasions on the victim’s ankle, knee and forehead.
Here are my comments:
- Overall this is a professional, objective report. Well done!
- Delete verbal. There’s no difference between an argument and a verbal argument. Police officers are busy people with no time for unnecessary words.
- Change “abrasions” to scrapes, bruises, or scratches. Use ordinary words whenever you can. Be as specific as you can.
- Change “physical altercation” to fight. Again, use ordinary words whenever you can.
- The sentence below is confusing. Never use she when there are two women in a sentence:
The caller told police she confronted the woman because she wanted her to return a bicycle she had borrowed.
In my version, I changed the second “she” to the suspect. Now the sentence is easier to understand:
The caller told police the suspect had borrowed a bicycle and didn’t return it. The caller demanded her bicycle back.