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How To Get A Police Report

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Police Reports: A Quick Overview

How to get your police report through a Freedom of Information request with Robyn Doolittle

Pennsylvania and New Jersey laws require citizens to notify law enforcement immediately of any traffic accident involving a fatality or personal injury. The laws of both states also require any law enforcement officer who investigates the scene of a fatal/injury accident to prepare and submit a written report of the investigation to the police department and other relevant authorities. The laws place short time limits on the preparation of preliminary reports . Officers can submit supplemental reports if necessary.

The standard police accident reports in Pennsylvania and New Jersey contain a wide variety of information about an accident, including:

  • The county and municipality where the crash occurred
  • The time of day the crash occurred
  • The number of vehicles/pedestrians involved in the accident
  • The number of people involved in the crash
  • The number of people injured or killed in the crash
  • The presence of damage to the road or roadway features
  • Whether the reported crash was a primary or secondary incident
  • The roadway location of the crash
  • Details about the roadway where the crash happened
  • Details about the surroundings of the crash
  • Details about the people involved in the crash
  • The results of alcohol/drug tests of drivers
  • A narrative description of how the crash happened, including its “first harmful event,” “most harmful event,” and “prime” contributing factors and
  • A diagram of the accident.

Copy Of A Police Report

The VPD Correspondence Unit can provide a copy of a police report to you if you have reported or been involved in a property offence incident, such as:

  • theft
  • break-and-enter
  • motor vehicle collisions where a police officer has completed an MV6020 report

With your consent, your insurance company can make this request on your behalf. In most cases, your police report number is sufficient for the VPD to find your file.

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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Is A Police Report Necessary Even If No One Was Hurt

Lets say you did have an accident but there were no injuries involved. So does that mean getting the police report is really necessary?

The answer to this question is still yes. The police report will provide you all the information you need to strengthen your accident claim. If your insurance company is fighting your claim and considers you at fault for the accident, this is where a report from an impartial witness will come in handy.

Citizen Online Report Entry

Police report template

If your incident:

  • Requires IMMEDIATE police attendance or a lengthy on-scene investigation
  • Is related to Domestic Violence
  • Involves an Emotionally Disturbed Person
  • Involves the reporting of Theft of E-Bike
  • Is motivated by hate bias

Please call the Toronto Police at 416-808-2222 and DO NOT submit your report online.If this is an emergency, please call 911.

In order for the Toronto Police Service to process your CORE report, the following information is MANDATORY

  • Your EMAIL ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER and other contact information.
  • The INCIDENT START AND END DATE
  • The LOCATION of the incident, including the place or area your property was believed stolen.
  • Please CREATE A SEPARATE PROPERTY ENTRY for EACH piece of property that you are reporting stolen.

The accuracy of the information you provide in the report greatly assists the Toronto Police Service in investigating your report. Please ensure it is as COMPLETE AND CONCISE as possible.

If you have filed a report online and would like to add/change/update your report, please submit a Supplemental Report.

It is the policy of the Toronto Police Service to not accept reports of non-emergency incidents that occur outside of the City of Toronto.

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Locating An Incident Or Offense Report

To locate an incident or offense report, you will need:

  • Victims last name
  • Your report number
  • The report date

Access your report online. If you have technical issues call any time at 866-495-4206, option 5.

If you do not know your incident report number, you can email us. We will look up your information and email it back to you.

What Happens After I File A Report Online

  • Upon submitting your completed report online, you will see the words Your online police report has been submitted indicating your report is complete.
  • You will receive an email with a temporary case number until police have reviewed the report. Check your junk email folder if you do not receive the email in your inbox.
  • Once a police officer has approved the online report, you will be notified and provided a permanent case number.
  • The accuracy of the information you provide in the report greatly assists Peel Regional Police Service in investigating your incident. Please ensure the report is as complete and concise as possible.

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Can You Get An Accident Report If You Didnt Call The Police

No. If the police did not respond at the time of the incident, they cannot and will not complete an accident report. This can complicate matters with the insurance company, which may try to blame you for the accident. But you can complete your own personal accident report, which may help. This is essentially a formal way to document everything that happened as you saw it, as soon after the accident as possible. Give the completed report to your lawyer and they may be able to draw on it when dealing with the insurance company.

For a free legal consultation, call

What Types Of Reports Can I File Online

DUI Arrest: How to get a copy of the police report?
  • Damage/Mischief to Motor Vehicle under $10,000.00
  • Damage/Mischief to Property under $10,000.00
  • Lost Property under $10,000.00
  • Theft of Property – under $10,000.00
  • Theft from Motor Vehicle – under $10,000.00
  • Supplemental Report
  • Driving Complaints Road Watch:- Constant Neighborhood traffic related issues- School bus violations.

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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.

What’s In A Police Report

At the scene of the car accident, if you pay close attention you may notice the investigating officer inspecting vehicles, talking to people, measuring distances, writing notes, and taking photographs. The officer is taking some or all of these steps in preparation for drafting the police report. In short, the police report is a summary of the police officer’s investigation of the accident. The report will often contain some or all of the following information:

  • approximate date, time, and location of the collision
  • identifying information for parties involved in the car accident, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information
  • identifying information for witnesses
  • statements from the parties and witnesses
  • citations and/or violations of law, and
  • opinions as to cause of the collision and/or a fault determination.

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Reports You Cannot Submit Online

  • Robbery
  • House and business break and enters
  • Domestic disputes
  • Theft of a vehicle
  • Any type of fraud resulting in the loss of funds/personal information or property, including fraudulent use of debit or credit cards
  • Incidents that involve lost / stolen citizenship cards, permanent resident cards, immigration documents, government cheques, or cash from the government
  • Incidents involving firearms
  • Stolen property for sale online such as on Kijiji, Craigslist, Facebook, etc.

These crimes may require a dispatched call. Please phone the Police non-emergency line 266-1234.

FOR EMERGENCIES OR CRIMES IN PROGRESS CALL 9-1-1.

How To Request Records Contained In A Major Collision File

Police Report Example

Major Collision Bureau investigates all Motor Vehicle Collisions resulting in a fatality or serious personal injury that occur in the Region of Peel.

  • Company letter or personal/company email requesting the records, including date, time, location, occurrence number, officer in charge of the collision. How you are involved or your relationship to the involved party.
  • Clients signed consent or two copies of your government issued identification and your contact information.
  • Our office will advise you in writing regarding the status of the case or any known court dates.
  • If you are NOTthe Involved Party to the Collision

    You must provide proof of relationship to the involved party and a signed consent on behalf of the involved individual.

    If the Involved Individual is Deceased

    You are required to provide an authorization from the legal representative or power of attorney with supporting documents.

    ***Do Not Send Payment Until You Have Been Invoiced***

    Contact Information

    Please contact Martine Renwick, Information and Privacy Unit at or email at for additional assistance.

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    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.

    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 Police Report

    A police report is usually created by the investigating officer at the scene of the accident. It contains a summary of the crash, including any facts or opinions the officer had while investigating the scene. It does cost a fee to get the report, between $15 and $25.

    The application to obtain a copy of the police report can usually be done in person, via mail, or online via the police department website, depending on the department. For instance, the Pennsylvania State Police asks you to submit an application via mail after 15 days have elapsed since the date of the crash.

    Usually, the police will provide you with a crash receipt following the accident. This isnt a full report but will provide you with important information such date and location of the accident and the other partys information.

    If you have any trouble obtaining your crash report, an attorney can help you get the information.

    Facts Versus Opinions In Police Reports

    How to File a Police Report Online

    The information contained in the police report can be a fact or an opinion. For example, the date, time, and location of the collision are facts. Fault determinations are the opinions of the police officer.

    Regardless of what’s included in the police report, the insurance company, through its own investigation, will come to its own conclusion as to who was at fault for the accident.

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    After A Car Accident: How To Obtain A Police Report

    Getting into a car accident can be a very traumatic experience. Not only do you have to recover from the shock and begin the recovery process, but you have to deal with the insurance company. And one of the first things they will ask for is the police report.

    If you have never been in a serious car accident or truck accident before, you may not know how to go about this. After all, youre busy fielding calls from the insurance companies, making doctors appointments, and maybe arranging to take time off of work. Who has time to fetch a police report?

    What you may not realize is the police report will have vital information that you need in order to receive fair compensation for your injuries. It answers one of the most important questions you will face after a car crash what happened?

    How Can I Get A Copy Of My Police Report

    **DUE TO COVID-19, REQUESTS CAN ONLY BE MADE VIA MAIL**

    Requests for reports can be made through the mail only during the COVID-19 pandemic. Requests must be accompanied by a check or money order for $12 per report, payable to the City of San Diego.

    The following information is necessary to identify requested report:

    • parties involved
    • date and location of occurrence
    • report number if available
    • incident number if available

    Note: Arrest reports – only pages 1 & 2 can be released. The cost is 50 cents .

    A third party may pick-up a Report if they have written authorization from the Reporting Party along with photo ID and the required $12 fee.

    Request by mail:Send request to SDPD Records, MS#726, P.O. Box 121431, San Diego, CA, 92112-1431.Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

    For questions relating to the following report types and case numbers for:

    • Accident Reports
    • Arrest Reports
    • Auto Theft Reports

    Or to confirm if a report is ready for pick-up, send e-mail questions to

    *please note reports will not be faxed or emailed

    For questions relating to the following report types and case numbers for:

    Accident Reports

    Arrest ReportsAuto Theft Reports

    Or to confirm if a report is ready for pick-up, send e-mail questions to

    *please note reports will not be faxed or emailed

    – See more at: https://www.sandiego.gov/police/services/faqs/traffic#sthash.3FWgFC1X.dpuf

    Contact us at 531-2846. Monday – Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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    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.

    How To Get A Police Report

    How to get the police report in your DUI case

    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

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