How To Lookup A Police Report
Whether youve been involved in an accident or you have had a run-in with the law, knowing how to lookup a police report is an important skill. Police reports are public documents and the information they contain could have an impact on a wide range of things, including finding a job, applying for a loan, or pursuing an insurance claim. We are going to give a basic rundown of what a police report is, why its important, and how to lookup a police report.
Step : Make Sure Your Occurrence Can Be Reported Online
Use the information below to see if you can use this system. If your occurrence qualifies for online reporting, proceed to the next step. If your occurrence does not qualify for online reporting, it cannot be accepted by the officer managing online reporting. These occurrences require contact with a local OPP officer for investigation. Please call the OPP toll-free at 1-888-310-1122 to file a report. Links to external websites including those with video, digital images or documents that are not supported by this application cannot be managed through this online reporting service. Please include a narrative description of the occurrence if you will be filing an online report.
How Long Will It Take To Get A Copy Of A Report Once It Is Requested
- In most cases, if you attend in person to obtain a report, it will be prepared while you wait. If the report is incomplete , it will be released to you when it is completed. There may be an additional wait time for archived reports.
- Requests by mail will be responded to by mail as promptly as possible.
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If A Report About Me Is Online Can It Be Removed
Reports on certain crimes, such as sexual assaults and those involving children, are not listed on this site to protect the identity of the victims. Additionally, addresses, victim names and other identifying information have been redacted from all of the reports available online.
If you see information about a crime you were involved in and believe the information is inaccurate – please contact the followup detective in your case and talk to them directly about the information.
If you are upset that a report is online and want it removed entirely, contact SPD Legal Unit at 206-233-5141 to discuss this on a case by case basis.
Event Report Request A Copy
To request a copy of an event report or confirmation of an intervention by the Police Department, for which you are the complainant, or an accident report, you must send a written and duly signed request by mail to the following address:
Section des Archives Service de police de la Ville de Montréal 5000, rue dIberville, B – 135 Montréal H2H 2S6 Telephone: 514-280-2970Fax: 514-280-2985
Your request must indicate your full name, current address, phone number, event number, your date of birth, place where the event took place, date of the event, type of event, for example, accident, mischief, theft, or aggression, and state the reason why you would like to have this report. You must sign your request.
The following must be enclosed with your request:
1- A copy of a government-issued piece of identification, for example: heath card, driver’s licence, or passport. The identification must bear your signature and picture and the copy must be easily legible.
2- A cheque, postal or bank money order for the amount of $15.50 payable to “Ville de Montréal”.
Please note that it may take up to 3 weeks to process your request, depending on the volume of requests received.
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How Do I Get A Copy Of A Police Report
Police investigations may seem secretive, but did you know you can get your hands on a copy of an official police report? Whether youve been in a car accident, youve witnessed a crime, or you simply want to know about an incident that happened in your jurisdiction, there are steps you can take to request access to police reports.
The exact process may vary by jurisdiction, but it is generally the same across the country. Agencies have different policies for releasing sensitive information that is in police reports, so be sure to check with your local police department to confirm how they handle requests. As you are researching, you may find the request titled a Freedom of Information Request or a Public Access Request. Different areas use varying language, but they both mean the same thing and are referring to the Freedom of Information Act , which makes it entirely legal for citizens to request certain government information.
Reports will include details of the incident, where it took place, who was involved, witnesses, and much more essentially, it is anything that is even remotely relevant to the case. But keep in mind, you will not be able to receive a copy of a police report until after the police investigation has been closed.
So, how do you get a copy of this information? Check out the steps below.
How To Request A Police Report Online
Once you have determined which police department has your police report, you should visit their website. Many police departments now allow you to request your police report online, although some may require you to print off a police report request form and mail it to them with a self-addressed stamped envelope. San Antonio, for example, allows you to submit a request for a police report online, in person, or through the mail.
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How Do Insurance Companies Use Police Reports
After a car accident, when a claim is reported, the insurance company will conduct its own investigation. One of the first things that an insurance company will ask for is the police report. This is because, as we discussed above, the report contains a vast amount of information pertaining to the car accident.
Sometimes the insurance company and police officer’s opinions are different. This is why there are times when the police report is in your favor in terms of a fault determination, but the other driver’s insurance company still denies your insurance claim.
Learn more about the role of insurance in a car accident case.
Why Police Reports Matter
Police reports are public records and in some states they may be viewable by just about anybody. Usually there are restrictions on how those records can be used, particularly by employers, landlords, and financial institutions. As already mentioned, police reports are particularly usefuland they may even be necessarywhen filing a claim with your insurer. The contents of a police report are important, so you need to make sure that any police report pertaining to you is accurate and does not cast you in an unnecessarily bad light.
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How To Get A Copy Of A Police Report
A police report is generated by the investigating officer who responds to a request for assistance at the scene of a car accident. The police report is a summary of information regarding the crashusually containing facts related to the accident and opinions of the investigating officer.
There are two ways to obtain a police report. One way will cost you money, the other probably will not. To obtain a paid copy of the police report, you need to request a copy from the local law enforcement office that drafted the report. Before leaving the scene of the crash, the investigating officer typically will hand you a receipt with the identification number for the police report. Call the traffic division of the local law enforcement agency that responded to the scene of the car accident, pay the administrative fee , and you should have no problem obtaining a copy.
If you do not have or do not know the identification number for the police report, you can provide the date, time, and location of the car accident, along with your name, to assist in locating the report.
To obtain a free copy of the police report, you can ask the insurance adjuster who is handling your claim if they requested the report, and ask for a copy.
Regardless of how you obtain the police report, it may take a few weeks for the investigating officer to complete the report, and for it to become available.
Why Do I Need A Police Report
The crash report for your accident will contain crucial information about your case. The police take the time to investigate the accident, inspect the vehicles, talk to witnesses, and take photographs of the scene. All this information will be included in the report, including the following information:
- An approximate date, time, and location of the accident
- All contact information of the parties involved, including the insurance information
- Any information as provided by witnesses of the accident
- The damage to the vehicles
- The conditions of the scene such as the state of the road, weather, and visibility
- The statements provided by the other party and witnesses
- Any citations or violations that were issued by the officer
Also included in the police report will be opinions by the police as to what was the cause of the crash and who may be at fault. Despite what the officer believes, remember that your insurance company will draw its own conclusions about what had occurred.
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Why Are These The Only Crimes Shown
With the Police Reports Map and 9-1-1 Response Map, SPD is making almost all of our reports available online. The Department attempted to be very thoughtful about what information was released and what was not. These decisions were not made to “hide” types of crimes from the public, instead decisions were made about who to protect.
The only reports that are not being released under this system are when the rights of the victim, age of the victim, possibility of revictimization or overall public safety/security issues take clear precedence over the public right to know.
Information on Rape and other sexual offenses, Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Kidnapping, Suicides, locations that are sensitive , Homeland Security issues and tactical information that might compromise the safety of our officers are not being released in this system.
If the event is one of the many types we do show, but the location code was entered into the system incorrectly, the location of the event cannot then be verified. In this scenario, this particular event will not appear on the map at all, rather than providing possibly misleading information.
Finding The Descriptions Of Crimes For Different Penal Code Sections
Police records usually refer to penal code sections in describing crimes police are investigating.
For example, section 187 of the penal code is for homicides.
How can you find out which crimes the various sections of the state penal code stand for?
The Berkeley Police Department has a list of commonly used penal code sections and which crimes they refer to. Thats at:
At the site check the box next to Penal Code. In the search box type in the number for the penal code section youre interested in .
At the search results page, click on the first listing. That should give you the penal code section youre seeking .
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What Types Of Crime Reports Can I See
General Offense Reports in PDF format are available for almost all crimes reported to SPD. These reports are made available within 8 hours after the event is closed. For the major crimes of Burglaries, Robberies, Aggravated Assaults and Homicides, additional information is made available through a redacted full narrative. These reports are available within 5 business days after the event.
Why Are Some Things Blacked Out On The Page
This is called redacting and it is done to protect the privacy of the people involved in the incident.
The Department redacts the names of all victims, all non-involved parties, all juveniles/minors and all suspects unless they have been booked into jail. This is a major reason why it takes time to prepare crime reports for online posting.
Once a suspect has been booked into jail, their name is no longer private. If they were booked into King County Jail you can view suspect information online at the King County Jail Register.
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Why Am I Not Able To Obtain A Police Report
The most common reason why people cannot get a copy of a police report is because of an ongoing investigation. Once the case is closed, you should be able to obtain a copy.
If you believe you have been unfairly denied access to a police report, you may wish to have a lawyer speak to the authorities on your behalf. Juvenile records may sometimes be sealed or withheld to protect the privacy of the victim. Generally, though, the process to obtain a police report is relatively simple, depending upon who is trying to obtain the report.
How To Find Arrest Records Across Multiple Jurisdictions
Conducting your investigation can become complicated if you need to do a background search on someone who has lived in multiple jurisdictions. To simplify things, an internet-based specialized investigation company can provide a comprehensive, multi-state search in one easy step. This allows you to search for multiple records from all over the country quickly and easily. And you can avoid the hassle of tracking down individual records from various government entities.
BeenVerified has an online search form for public records. BeenVerifieds automated search aggregates from hundreds of databases and repositories. To search, just go to the online search form and enter the persons first name, last name, and city. The form will search multiple public records databases and provide a list of potential matching names. Scroll through the list and select the person youre looking for, then click Build Report.
Questions and More Information
If you have any questions about how to get a copy of your police report, please leave a comment below. Also, view more Law Enforcement Resources.
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Requesting A Police Report In Person
1. Gather the required materials.
Bring with you a form of identification like a drivers license or passport. If you are making the request on behalf of someone else, you will need to have a notarized letter with you. Most agencies require a small request fee. If you were directly involved in the incident whether as a victim, witness, or defendant you may receive a verification slip from the authorities to let you know that a police report has been filed. Bring this slip with you to exchange for the police report.
2. Visit the Records and Identification Division of the police department.
The Records and Identification Division may have exclusive hours throughout the day that are not your typical business hours, so be sure to verify online. They will ask you for your information, as well as basic information about the case. Then, they will take your payment to cover the request fee.
3. Retrieve the copy of your police report.
In some areas, you may have to pick up a copy of the police report in person, but some agencies may mail it directly to you. Either way, expect to pay a per-page fee for the copy of the report. Reports typically cost a total of $50 to $150.
How Long Does It Take To Obtain A Police Report
It typically only takes a few days to a week to get a copy of a police report if you were directly involved in the case. However, if you were not directly involved, or if you are an insurance agent, it will take longer because you have to send in a request and have it processed. This process can take up to a month or longer.
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How To Get A Police Report
By law, certain police records and violation reports prepared and maintained by the Police Department are accessible to the general public.
If you need to get a copy of a police report, do this. First, begin by researching the requirements of the police department responsible for the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred. Then, follow the departments exact protocol for requesting and receiving those records. Start by checking the police departments website. Expand your search to the city website if you dont find anything on the police departments website.
Obtain and Fill Out Request Forms
Some departments may require that you complete a request form, sometimes called a request for public records. This may also be known as a request for open records. When you check the department website, look to see if you can download the request form from their site. If so, fill out the request form and submit it according to the directions.
Most request forms will require you to provide the first and last name of at least one of the involved parties. In addition, youll need the location, date, and time of the incident, and in some cases, the incident or case number.
Submitting the Request Form
Important Notes Regarding Submitting Requests for Police Reports
- It may take a few days or more to obtain the official documents
- Charges for obtaining copies of the documents may vary by city or jurisdiction
- Very few departments allow access to records online
Are Police Reports Public Records
Many types of police records are exempt from public disclosure. There are two main reasons why they arent publicly available. First, disclosing the information could undermine an ongoing investigation. Second, it could jeopardize someones privacy and safety. In some cases, departments will release certain information related to the report, such as to a reporter doing a story. However, they rarely release a full copy.
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