Importance of Good Investigative Report Writing

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Importance of good investigative report writing

Investigative reports are an important piece to an investigators job. Good report writing is a skill in its own. Reports are official documents that detail how evidence was collected and the pertinent facts of an investigation. The characteristics of a well-written report are completeness, conciseness, clarity and accuracy.

Reports should always be complete and thorough. Completeness is important because having all the pertinent information regarding the case will make for a successful investigation. Having partial facts in a report can create a false picture of events that can clearly be argued against in a court of law. Also, negative as well as positive results of the investigation should be included in the report. Everything that is done in an investigation should be documented.

Be concise in your report. Reports should be as concise as possible while retaining all the essential features and details in and understandable manner. Reports should be written as a narrative but should eliminate nonessential modifiers or descriptors. All paperwork in a profession setting such as law enforcement should be written with conciseness. Next, reports must exhibit clarity. Clarity is the quality or state of being clear. While this can be self-explanatory, clarity in police report is very significant because other elements like accuracy and brevity lose sense when clarity does not exist. The officer must clearly explain what he or she saw, heard, and did. Short active-voice sentences lead to a clear mean and understanding of your report.

Lastly, are last characteristic of good report writing is accuracy. Accuracy is the element, which any police report can never live without. The areas to which a reporter should be accurate in are details like check in time, place, name and dates among many others. Being accurate in a report is paying attention to details and avoids generalities. If a police report is

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