Type 1 Sample Report

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

Event Officer’s role Probable cause? Information needed Special requirements
The crime or incident happened before you arrived Record what happened (break-in, assault, etc.) Not needed if a citizen requests assistance Piece together and accurately record events that happened before you arrived Accuracy, 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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34 thoughts on “Type 1 Sample Report

        1. Jean Post author

          There are many sample reports posted on this website. I also provide links to actual police reports posted online.

          1. Sarah

            Hi Jean,
            I couldn’t locate your links to actual police reports posted on line. Pls advise.


    1. Jason

      Third person reports have fallen by the way side. It’s an old practice, and not very many departments still use them. It’s easier to read and comprehend first person reports.

  1. Gerald

    Hey Jean, how do I shorten my report, when I have several witnesses with the same testimony? Thanks for your assistance in this matter

  2. Adrian

    Hello Jean, This is a fantastic site. I am from the UK, and I am currently going through the selection process to become a police officer. One of the activities I need to do is to write an incident report and this has been a massive help to me.

    I was wondering if you could give me some advice? The incident report I have to write, will need to be written based on a series of fictitious memos and emails. I have 30 minutes to complete this report and It’s likely I will be dealing with four different accounts of what happened. I am trying to find a structure that I can work with that will allow me pass this part of the recruitment process. I am really worried about this, and could do with some good advice. I have an example of what I have to do if that helps?



    1. Sundar


      Brief Detail:
      Type of incident: Robbery with violence
      Reported to: UNPOL base 3 Monrovia 3rd June 2008 at 15:30 hrs
      Reported by: Mr. Mirandas
      Main Report: On the 3rd June 2008 at 15:30 hrs, a man by the name of Mr. Mirandas called into UNPOL base 3 in Monrovia and asked to speak to a duty officer. He was shown into interview room 5 where duty officer James Colan took an interview with him. Mr. Mirandas stated that his wife had been the victim of a serious robbery and assault one hour earlier in the electric store he owns at 45 Bridge Street. The duty officer asked him to explain what had happened.
      Mr. Mirandas stated that he opened his shop late 14:00 hrs that day as he had to take his two children to the doctors in the, morning. He said that his wife had come to the store to help him with account keeping as he needed to pay his tax returns by the 8th June. At 14:30 hrs he left his wife alone in the shop as he wanted to go to the tax officer near his shop at G R458322 task for a form 456 that he needed to fill in. he stayed at the tax officer for ten minutes and when he returned to his shop at 14:50 hrs his wife was laying on the floor, she had a head injury but she was not seriously injured. He called the local hospital and she was transported to the people’s clinic GR398211 for further treatment. He then came immediately to the base to report the incident. The duty officer asked him for further details. He said that when he left his wife she was serving two customers, both were well dressed in blue suits and they said they wanted to buy some mobile phones for the new business they had started supplying combat uniforms for the Army. When he returned to the shop after going to the tax office his wife confirmed that the men who attacked her were the same men. The officer asked if her could provide any further details of the suspects. He said that both the men were large: one was around 185 cms and the other around 180 cms; the taller man had a beard Mr. Mrindas stated that his wife was probably more able to give details of the men after she had recovered. He also stated at this stage he had not checked his stock but he noticed that the $500 that was in the till was missing. The police asked him to go back to his shop and record all missing items from his store , they also took a contact number from him it was 487665 and asked him to contact them when his wife was fit enough to provide more information. At 16:30 hrs Mr. Miranda contacted the base to inform the duty that his wife was being discharged from the clinic at 18:00 hrs that day. The duty officers said he would contact him later day to arrange to interview her.

      1. jdancer

        You’re an excellent writer! The big issue I think you should deal with is inefficiency. Police officers are busy. Omit words that are just empty fillers. You don’t need to say “by the name of.” Omit “the duty officer asked,” “The officer asked if her could provide any further details of the suspects” and similar statements. Just record what the suspect said. The purpose of a report is to record facts that will be useful for an investigation and possible prosecution. The duty officer’s questions just waste time and won’t be useful later.

  3. jdancer

    Thank you for the feedback, Adrian! I’m so glad you’re finding the website useful. The assignment you’ll be doing sounds complex. My best advice is for you to write a separate paragraph for each of the four accounts. Don’t try to blend them. Every agency is slightly different, and I’m not sure what yours will be looking for (especially since you’re in the UK!). My other advice is for you to download and study the chart about the four types of police reports. When you sit down to write your report, try to place it in a category first (1, 2, 3, or 4). That way you’ll know what essential features you need to think about. (For example, Type 4 requires probable cause.) Good luck! https://www.scribd.com/doc/233662728/four-types-of-police-reports

  4. charisse mendoza

    can you please help me with our assignment?
    we need to trnslate filipino terms in english
    I have translated it already thpugh i think its really funny

    1. the tricycle was thrown away
    2. the car flipped over
    3. Bathing in his out blood
    4. the goat was taken away
    5. Msr. x scolded the driver

    can you please revise them fopr me in most appropriate english terms for report writing

      1. Kwaku Addae

        Help me with my assignment
        A group of students broke into the office of the vice chancellor and looted Gh¢5,000.A committee was set up to investigate the matter. As a secretary to the committee, write your report

        1. Jean Post author

          You’ll find many resources here to help you write your report, Kwaku! I’m sorry that we don’t offer a homework service.

  5. Harpreet

    Hi ma’am. I am considering law enforcement as career and preparing for police entrance exam. But I am facing little problems while writing reports. I have written some reports but not sure if those are good enough to pass the exam. Is it possible somehow that I can send you reports written by me so you would mark the mistakes. I ll be really thankful.

  6. Aryan Sood

    hi I had a iPhone 7 plus stolen from me basically I was on the train I had my iPhone then suddenly I looked in my pocket someone had taken my phone from me. we tried to ring it but someone cut the call of so can you look for it but we could not. we all looked in Hainaut station nothing was there I asked Chigwell station they nothing has been handed in

    1. Jean Post author

      This is a website to help recruits and officers write better police reports. It’s not a law enforcement website.

  7. Precious

    My former employee accused me of fruding him of 2m and I want to write a statement to the police informing them about the problem
    But I don’t know how to write a police statement

  8. Robam mumba

    Can someone help me I have been told to investigate into the raphant pilferage in my department and to write a report making necessary recommendations…..about 5 pages….jean I need your help thanks in anticipation


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