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Tip Center - Police Report

A detailed explanation of a police report, the importance of a police report and how to file.

What is a Police report?

A police report is a written record of evidence for any complaint, accident or theft. Only police officers can create a police report, this is why they are such an important piece of official evidence in court cases. A police report is the official starting point for verification of statements made, records of behavior, witnesses and other observations the officer may have noted that will be considered in proceedings.

What is included in a police report?

Included in a police report is the statements made by the individual or individuals creating the police report and the police officer's input of the situation. In a traffic related police report, the arresting police officer will input items such as thoughts, observations, whether a field sobriety test was performed, any violations, if a vehicle search was performed and what resulted in the decision to arrest the person. The police officers comments in a police report is very important in the court ruling of cases. This is why it is so important to always be respectful and calm when dealing with the police because everything said and done, including attitude and behavior, will be recorded in the official police report. In a theft, robbery or burglary police report, the officer will include items such as how the property was stolen, if a weapon was involved, if there is any description of assailants, entry point and what was stolen.

What is the importance of a police report?

The police report is the single most important article if court case ensues. For traffic violations, it is of the utmost importance to have an official police report of the situation as people can change their story to avoid legal and financial responsibility. It is recommended that police are not called to an accident scene if the damages are under $1000, but even a minor fender bender quickly gets into the thousands with today's modern cars of plastic bumper covers and costly auto body repair. For theft, a police report is critical in the recovery of stolen property. Also, every insurance company requires an official police report to receive compensation for stolen property claims. The importance for a police report in civil complaints is crucial for the police officers input of the situation, especially if people are irate or participating in violent behavior.

Always be sure to receive copies of all a police report and store them in a secure place for personal records and any insurance claims.