The form itself is self-explanatory; it is merely a matter of filling in the appropriate blanks or checking the appropriate blocks. The narrative is the integral component of any sound offense report. An appropriate narrative adheres to the three “C’s.” Offense reports must be clear, concise, and complete. In order to insure this adherence to the three “C’s,” the following questions should be answered: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Who?
1. Who is the complainant?
2. Who is the victim?
3. Who is the suspect?
4. Who are the witnesses?
1. What type of offense has occurred?
2. What type of action has occurred or is occurring (in the case of a domestic disorder or neighbor dispute, etc.)?
3. What was the relationship, if any, between the victim and the suspect(s)? When?
1. When did this offense take place or when was the crime discovered? 2. When did you (the officer) arrive?
3. When did the suspect flee the scene or leave the area (if known)? Where?
1. Where was the offense committed (specific address)?
2. Where are the victims, witnesses, and suspect(s) now?
1. Why was the offense committed?
2. Why were the victim and suspect(s) in this location?
3. Why did the suspect choose this victim and this time to commit this offense? How?
1. How was the crime/offense committed?
2. How did the suspect flee the area (on foot, in a vehicle—description or license plate number, direction of travel)?
3. How many victims, witnesses, and suspects were involved in the crime or offense?
The first sentence of the first paragraph should set the tone for the report: “On October 6, 1998, at 14:00 hours, I, Officer M. W. Jackson, responded to 4853 Lucerne Road in reference to a larceny complaint.” The second and subsequent sentences are composed in a manner as to support the initial or opening statement: “Upon my arrival, I spoke with the complainant, Ms. Melissa Hemby .” In these two sentences, the date and time of...
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