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.
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.
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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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.
How To Obtain A Police Report
This article was co-authored by Saul Jaeger, MS. Saul Jaeger is a Police Officer and Captain of the Mountain View, California Police Department . Saul has over 17 years of experience as a patrol officer, field training officer, traffic officer, detective, hostage negotiator, and as the traffic units sergeant and Public Information Officer for the MVPD. At the MVPD, in addition to commanding the Field Operations Division, Saul has also led the Communications Center and the Crisis Negotiation Team. He earned an MS in Emergency Services Management from the California State University, Long Beach in 2008 and a BS in Administration of Justice from the University of Phoenix in 2006. He also earned a Corporate Innovation LEAD Certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2018. This article has been viewed 633,376 times.
A police report is a document police officers create after an arrest, accident, or investigation. It explains what happened, details evidence, and provides witness statements and other details. Because these reports are often used in court appearances, settlements, and insurance investigations, having a copy might be very useful for you. Whether they ask you to submit your request in person, via mail, or online, all police departments will provide you with a copy of your police report.
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Report: Mischief Theft Vandalism Graffiti Or Lost Items
5 TYPES OF REPORTS MAY BE DONE ONLINE.
Theft in or on a vehiclePurse snatching Pickpocketing
Item was not stolen but you can no longer find it
After submitting the report, a temporary number will be automatically sent to you by email. All communication will be done by email. Your report will be reviewed and if any changes are required, you will be sent a request for changes. Once the report is corrected and approved, you will receive an official event number by email, as well as a PDF copy of the report.
Make sure you have a valid email address as well as the date and location of the crime and information on the vehicle involved, if applicable.
If you meet these criteria and the type of incident that occurred appears on the list above, you may file your report.
To report a theft or loss of packages, please note that some companies require a report in English only. We offer the service in the language of your choice. Note, however, that once the report has been submitted, it is no longer possible to change the language.
Get A Copy Of Your Police Records
You have the right to ask for a copy of records the police have about you. This is called a subject access request.
You might need a subject access request if you move to another country.
A subject access request has records from:
- police forces in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Jersey and the Isle of Man
- the British Transport Police
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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.
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.
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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.
Donotpay Helps You File A Police Report Fast
DoNotPay lets you file a police report in three easy steps. With our help, you can complete the otherwise daunting process with a few clicks. DoNotPay is:
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How To Make Your Request
In most cases, you should make your request to your local police force which would hold records on local systems. However, if you would like access to information held on national police systems, such as the Police National Computer , you would need to contact ACRO.
If you no longer live in the UK, contact the police force for the area where you last lived.
If you have been in contact with the police because you were a witness or victim, or because of a traffic accident, then this information may not be available to other police forces. In these cases you should contact the police force you dealt with at the time.
Although you dont have to use them, police application forms will help you understand what details you need to provide so they can find the information you have requested. It will also outline what proof of ID they will need to see. For example, they may ask you when you have been in contact with the police and why, and whether you have lived in another part of the UK. You can make a request verbally or in writing. If you make your request verbally, we recommend you follow it up in writing to provide a clear trail of correspondence. It will also provide clear evidence of your actions.
Obtain A Police Report
NOTE: The Surrey RCMP Detachment is not able to provide/print copies of police reports.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision in Surrey and require an accident report, you can request a copy of the accident report by calling the Surrey RCMP Disclosure Unit at 604-599-7730. You will be asked to provide certain information including: a file number, date and location of the incident. Note: accident reports from other cities should be directed to the police force of jurisdiction.
NOTE: Requests for accident reports from other cities should be directed to the police force in the city the accident occurred.
- Date modified:
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Obtain A Public Police Report Copy
After filing a public police report you are able to obtain a copy for yourself any time. Unless you received one from a dispatched officer on the scene, you most likely will have to pay a fee to obtain a copy.
Most police reports are public record so anyone who wants to see their own or someone elses report is able to do so. Reports that are under investigation though are usually restricted to the police department and investigating parties, however.
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.
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When Should I Call Police Instead
- If you have a known suspect.
- If you are in possession of any evidence.
- If the value of the theft, loss or property damage is MORE THAN $5,000.
- If the incident occurred outside of Waterloo Region.
- If someone broke into your home or business.
- If this is a motor vehicle collision.
- If this is a theft or loss of a firearm.
- If this is a theft or loss of Government issued Personal Identification documents, other than Driver Licences
- If this is related to any form of personal violence including domestic violence.
- If this is related to any kind of vandalism or graffiti that could be described as hate motivated.
- If this is related to Fraud Over $25,000
- If this is related to a traffic complaint that is in progress.
- If you represent a retail business, other than a LCBO, reporting a theft .
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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When Making An Access Request Include The Following Information:
- Your name and contact details.
- Any information used by the organisation to identify or distinguish you from other people with the same name .
- Any details or relevant dates that will help it identify what you want.
For example, you may want to ask for:
- your interview statements
- Keep a copy of your request.
- Keep any proof of postage or delivery.
How To Report A Crime
You can report a crime in several ways:
- If its an emergency and the crime is still taking place, call and ask for the police.
- If its not an emergency, do not call 999. This doesnt mean the crime is not important it just helps the police to make the best use of their resources. Many police forces use the 101 non-emergency number, so you can ring that number instead.
- You can go to your local police station and report the crime there. You can find the address and telephone number in the local telephone directory or online. Check what time your local police station is open, as not all stations are open all the time.
- You can contact Crimestoppers on if you want to remain anonymous.
- If youve experienced hate crime, you can also report the incident online through True Vision, or Victim Supports online portal if you live in Wales.
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Car Accident Police Reports
Car accident police reports are mandated in every state. This is because they happen so often and it is vital to keep drivers responsible through legal consequences.
Many states have laws in place to keep residents accountable and safe. These laws mandate getting a police report after an accident. Some states like Colorado require drivers to file a report even for minor fender benders.
On the other hand, states like Vermont mandate that drivers only need to make a car accident police report if the total damage, property or personal injury, is over $3,000. Most states require that you file within 10 days of the accident. Drivers who fail to make a report can get their license suspended or incur violation fines.
A complete and comprehensive accident police report includes the following information:
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Names, address, phone numbers car information and insurance information of all parties involved in accident
- Information that identifies witnesses
- Description of damage on vehicles and injuries
- Weather and road conditions at the site of the accident
- Statements from all parties involved in accident
- Citations given
- Opinion of cause of collision from all parties involved