Third Parties Obtaining Reports
Sometimes third parties who were not involved in the actions mentioned in police reports might want copies of them. In these instances, most states will only allow third parties to obtain copies of police reports if the matters enclosed within the reports have already been closed. However, some states may allow third parties to obtain copies of police reports even when the cases are pending. Generally, third parties must know the case number of the reports that they want and must go to the county clerks office where the police report was filed to obtain a copy of the reports. There is usually a fee for the reports to be printed as well.
The process of obtaining copies of police reports is slightly different for different groups of people. However, they typically are not difficult to obtain, no matter who wants them.
Can I File A Police Report Online
When you have witnessed a crime, it is understandable that you might feel some distress. Crime is a horrible thing to witness first-hand and seeing one on your doorstep or close to where you live can be a hard thing to process.
But it is important that if you do see a crime, no matter how minor, that you report it to the police. This will not only ensure that the victim of the crime sees justice but also that the perpetrator not only faces the consequences of their actions but will be unable to commit their crime again.
However, if you have witnessed a crime but have no idea how or what to report then you may feel just as stressed as when you first saw the crime itself. Unless you know how the criminal justice system works in America you wont know what the appropriate way is to report a crime.
So, if you are wondering can I file a police report online, then you are in luck because this article will set out whether or not you can file a police report online or not.
How To File A Police Report
If you are involved in an accident, you may need to call the police and file a police report. In most states, if an accident results in death or injury or property damage exceeds a certain threshold then by law you are required to call the police. That threshold can vary depending on whether or not the motorists involved in the accident are insured. In Illinois, for example, the property damage threshold at which police must be called to an accident is usually $1,500. However, if any driver involved in the crash is uninsured then that threshold is just $500.
Even if you think your accident doesnt meet the minimum threshold, it is usually still a good idea to file a police report. Thats because a police report is an official account of the accident and it can have a huge impact on your insurance claim. Remember that even if you call the police and the police dont come to the accident scene you can still visit the police department later and file a report there. Some police departments, such as the Los Angeles Police Department, even allow you to file police reports online so long as it relates to a non-emergency incident.
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What Is A Police Report
People file a police report with law enforcement for a wide variety of reasons such as domestic disputes, traffic accidents, burglaries, and home invasions, fraud, theft, stalking, violence, and many other reasons. To file a report, citizens usually begin by calling 911, or their local police departments non-emergency line, to report the incident.
Once a citizen reports an incident, dispatchers assign it to local officers in the area. The police officers travel to the appropriate location via car, motorcycle, or other police vehicles. Then, the officers evaluate the situation, make observations, interview witnesses, record data, and complete forms and reports required by their local police department.
Police officers also initiate the filing of a report to record the data and gather the details associated with criminal and civil incidents such as car accidents, burglaries, assaults, and robberies, just to name a few.
Officers gather and record a great deal of information and data on a police report. This is to help ensure thorough and accurate investigations and to support criminal proceedings if they become necessary. Also, background verification services may use them in background checks. The information contained in the typical police report may vary from county to county, but most capture very similar information.
Upon Completion Of This Report Process You Will:
- See the words: “Your online police report has been submitted”.
- You will then immediately receive a temporary police report file number and an email informing you that we have received your report and that it is pending review. A temporary file number will appear in this format: T11000999. Temporary file numbers cannot be used for insurance purposes.
- If you do not receive an email with a temporary file number, please check your Spam or Junk-Email folder.
- A police officer will review your report and either Approve, Reject or request additional follow-up information from you. You will be advised via email of the status of your report. Do not reply via email to any of these automated messages as these accounts are not monitored. Follow the directions provided on how to respond regarding your report.
- Once your report is approved, you will receive a permanent report number – this number appears in this format: 11-123456.
- Be able to print a copy of the police report to keep for your records only. This copy cannot be used for insurance purposes.
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You Cannot File A Report Online If
- A threat was made or violence was used during the incident. If you are in immediate danger, please dial 911. If you are no longer in danger, please call us at 613-236-1222, extension 7300.
- Evidence was left on the scene such as, but not limited to blood, tools, clothes or any item related to the incident. Please call 613-236-1222, extension 7300 to file a report.
- The incident being reported did not happen in Ottawa. Please contact the police service in the city where the incident happened to file a report.
- The stolen property is a passport
- The property lost is a cell phone, licence plate, bank card or government issued identification, with or without a serial number. Please contact your service provider to get a replacement.
Bomb Threats By Telephone
If you receive a bomb threat over the telephone, Ready.gov provides the following information on what to do:
- Get as much information from the caller as possible. Try to ask the following questions:
- When is the bomb going to explode?
- Where is it right now?
- What does it look like?
- What kind of bomb is it?
- What will cause it to explode?
- Did you place the bomb?
The Department of Homeland Security also provides a helpful telephone bomb threat checklist.
Get more information on what to do if you receive a bomb threat or find a suspicious item.
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Making A Freedom Of Information Request About The Criminal Justice System
The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to request information about the criminal justice system held by public authorities, including UK police forces and prisons. You might not be supplied with the information you requested if it is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act. You can find out how to make a request here.
Police forces, prisons and other criminal justice organisations have already published some information under the Freedom of Information Act either in the normal course of business or in response to specific requests. Before making a request, check the appropriate website to see if they have already published the information you require. You can find police force websites by using the UK Police Service website. This provides links to all geographic and non-geographic police forces in the UK.
Start An Online Police Report In: English
FILING A FALSE POLICE REPORT IS A CRIME
If your incident did not meet the criteria for online reporting, please dial 1-877-ASK-LAPD
for Non-Emergency Police Response.
Welcome to the Los Angeles Police Department Community Online Reporting Service. Using this service allows you to submit select police reports at your convenience.
IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY OR CRIME IN PROGRESS, PLEASE CALL 911.
To File an Illegal Dumping Report Online:
- Illegal Dumping: Willfully or intentionally depositing, dropping, dumping, placing, or throwing onto public or private property. Illegal dumping is reported and handled by the City of Los Angeles Department of Sanitation. Please to file a report.
Your incident must meet the following criteria:
- The incident is not an emergency.
- The incident occurred within the City of Los Angeles.
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- No one was injured as a result of this incident.
- There are no known suspects.
- The incident did not occur on the state highway.
- No firearms were involved in the incident.
- You must have internet access and an email address.
Once you have submitted your report:
- Filing a false police report is a crime. Anyone filing a false police report may be prosecuted under California Penal Code section 148.5 PC. Filing a false police report is punishable by imprisonment in county jail not exceeding 6 months, or by fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both.
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Police Report Vs Police Record
First, lets clarify something that is bound to cause some confusion: the difference between a police report and a police record. While these two items have similar names, they are in fact very different. A police report is a document filed by a police officer that essentially offers a summary of an arrest, incident, or accident. A police record, on the other hand, is usually the same as a criminal record and it includes a list and summary of an individuals history of interactions with law enforcement, including arrests and convictions.
Another point that deserves clarification is the difference between a police report and an accident report. In fact, theres not really a difference between these two items. An accident report is simply a type of police report that details the circumstances of a traffic accident. A police report, meanwhile, can include accident reports, but they cover a much broader range of incidents that may involve the police, including crimes. Note that some police departments call police reports incident reports. Remember that some accident reports may also be criminal reports, such as if the accident may have been caused by drunk driving.
When Does The Right Of Access Not Apply
Schedule 2, Part 2, Paragraph 14 of the Data Protection Act 2018 states that:
The listed GDPR provisions do not apply to personal data processed by an individual acting in a judicial capacity or a court or tribunal acting in its judicial capacity.
This means that, for example, a judge’s handwritten notes prepared for legal proceedings are exempt from disclosure under the right of access.
You cannot request personal data that forms part of a judicial decision or in documents relating to an investigation or proceedings which have been created by or on behalf of a court of other judicial authority. This is because there are other access routes through which you can obtain this information the Criminal Procedure Rules – which govern the disclosure of material for cases going through the court process.
The law also allows the police to withhold information in some circumstances. For instance, they can restrict your right to access if this is necessary for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties.
In addition, the police may also have to edit the information they send you to remove information about other people.
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To Exercise Your Right Of Access Follow These Steps:
- Identify where to send your request.
- Think about what personal data you want to access.
- Make your request directly to the organisation.
- State clearly what you want.
You might not want all the personal data that the organisation holds about you. It may respond more quickly if you explain this and identify the specific data you want.
Should I Fill Out A Police Report
If this is an Emergency or police officer response is needed, please call 911. If this is not an emergency please respond to the prompts below to file an online police report.
Please make sure to turn off your pop-up blocking software before filing the report. Please look at our Frequently Asked Questions section or call 651-291-1111 to have an officer respond. Remember, you must have a valid email address to file an online police report.
Please note: Filing a false police report is a crime. M.S.S 609.505
Victims Report If you meet the guidelines above and want to file an online report.
Supplemental Report If you already filed an ONLINE report and you want to ADD information. You will need your case number
What happens after I submit my report?
- You will receive a temporary tracking number. This is not your police case number.
- Your report will be reviewed and assigned to an investigator.
- If your report is approved, a permanent police case number will be assigned. This is the number to report to your insurance company, bank, etc. if needed.
- A copy of your police report will be emailed in a printable PDF format.
- Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be contacted by an investigator.
Please check your e-mail regularly, including the spam or junk e-mail file.
Please note: This system is NOT monitored 24/7.
If you have questions about the status of your report, please call the Online Reporting Unit at 651-266-5701.
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Report Crime Anonymously: Contact Crimestoppers
Crimestoppers is an independent charity working to solve and prevent crime. Its a way for people, who for whatever reason may be reluctant to tell Police what they know, to anonymously report information about crime and criminals via an independent third party. You can contact Crimestoppers anonymously when you know about a crime that has been, or is being committed, you suspect a crime is being planned, or any other activity you think is illegal. To report a crime anonymously:
- Fill in the secure online Giving information form.
Find out more on the Crimestoppers website.
Acceptable Pieces Of Identification:
- Driver’s licence
- Foreign driver’s licence
- Valid student identity card from a Canadian or foreign institute
- Firearms Acquisition Certificate
- Canadian National Institute for the Blind identification card
- Federal, provincial or municipal identification card
- Military Family Identification
- Fishing, boating or hunting licence
- Vehicle ownership
- One piece of non-photo identification, which provides both the name and date of birth of an individual
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File A Restraining Order
If you’re in an emergency situation, call 911.
If you’ve been a victim of domestic abuse and want to take legal action, you may be able to file for a protective order. Protective orders are also known as restraining orders or injunctions.
The process for obtaining a protective order differs from state to state. Your local police and court can help you get the process started. Contact your state, county, or municipal court for more information.
Generally, you have to fill out paperwork and submit it to the county courthouse. If you need protection right away, a judge may issue a temporary restraining order. To get a longer-term order, your judge may want either or both a full court hearing and your abuser’s presence.
The police can enforce a protective order. If necessary, the order can include special provisions like:
Custody of children
Forcing the abuser to leave a home
In some states, a protective order requires the abuser to surrender all firearms.
File A Police Report Online:
If you have an email address you can file an online police report for many types of crime by clicking below on the language of your choice.
Powered by CopLogic. Please turn off your pop-up blocking software before filing your report. Note that we cannot accept online reports involving known suspects, suspect descriptions or surveillance records.
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Requesting A Police Report By Mail
The process of requesting a copy of a police report by mail is a bit more involved. In many jurisdictions, you are required to make your Public Access Request via mail. Typically, the agency will provide a form online for you to fill out, but some places are fine with you writing a letter to ask for the police report.
1. Figure out where to send the Public Access Request form or letter.
Your local police department may have a specific address and addressee for police report requests listed on their website. If they dont, simply address it to the Records and Identification Division, and use the general address listed online for the department.
2. Fill out the form or write the letter.
After you have found the location to send your request, you should be able to easily find out if they want you to send a request form or a letter. If the information is not readily available on the site, just call and ask which method they prefer. If it is available, filling out a request form is typically the easiest method because you wont have to worry about leaving out information.
If you write a letter instead of filling out the form, be sure to include the following information:
- Case number
- Your Name, Birthdate, and Address
- The date and location of the incident
- Your role in the case
- The officers name who filed the report
- What exactly you are requesting
3. Gather additional materials and send the form/letter.
4. Pay for the police report.