Crime Scene Narratives
When investigators write police reports, they must convey the steps of their investigative process and what they saw in as vivid detail as possible. Their reports must answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? The reader must come away with not only a thorough understanding of what was observed, but also what the investigator found at the crime scene. Attention to detail and the manner in which report writers convey their thoughts are extremely important. Reports provide a way for investigators to later—even years later—refresh their memory as to what they saw and did. Any information that investigators cannot recall from memory or glean from their reports is lost, which highlights the importance that must be placed on capturing all pertinent information clearly, completely, and concisely during the investigation.
. Read the articles, “The ABCs of Effective Reports: Observe the Basics” and “Patrol: The Police Report in the Officer’s Arsenal.” Reflect on how to write thorough, effective police reports that are accurate, brief, and clear.
First, identify and briefly discuss four reasons why field notes are important. Second, briefly describe at least four common elements of incident reports. Third, describe at least two guidelines police officers should follow when writing an incident reports.
There are what, when, where. how ,and why
Centre des Sciences de Montréal. (Producer). (n.d.). Autopsy of a murder [Interactive media]. Retrieved May 9, 2010, fromhttp://www.centredessciencesdemontreal.com/static/autopsy/flash.htm (for review)
Article: Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists. (n.d.). Code of Ethics of the Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists.
Retrieved April 19,2010,fromhttp://www.nwafs.org/Documents/Code%20of%20Ethics.pdf (for review)
Article: DePresca, J. (2003). Courtroom testimony. Law & Order, 51(10), 165–168.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.
Article: Gunderson, M. P. (2003). Five tips for testifying in court. Law & Order, 51(7), 110–113.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.
Article: Hess, K. (1999). The ABCs of effective reports: Observe the basics. Police, 23(3), 43–44.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.
Article: Kebbell, M. K., & O’Kelly, C. M. E. (2007). Police detectives’ perceptions of giving evidence in court. Policing, 30(1), 8–20.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.Article: Nelson, K. R. (2002). Patrol: The police report in the officer’s arsenal. Law & Order, 50(9), 226–228.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.