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How to Write a Police Report
Last Updated: February 24, 2022 Approved
This article was co-authored by Saul Jaeger, MS . Saul Jaeger is a Police Officer and Captain of the Mountain View, California Police Department (MVPD). Saul has over 17 years of experience as a patrol officer, field training officer, traffic officer, detective, hostage negotiator, and as the traffic unit’s 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 (dispatch) 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. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 12 testimonials and 84% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,127,279 times.
If you're a police officer or security guard, knowing how to write up a detailed and accurate report is important. A well written incident report gives a thorough account of what happened and sticks to the facts. If you're trying to write a police report, or are curious about how the police put together their reports, learning what to include and how to format the report is helpful.
- Try to do your write-up using word processing software. It will look neater and you'll be able to use spellcheck to polish it when you're finished. If you write your report by hand, print clearly instead of using cursive.
Saul Jaeger, MS
Did You Know? If you call 911, a police report may or may not be generated, depending on the outcome of the call. If a police report isn't generated and you want to file one later, you can call the non-emergency number, and an officer will come out and take the report. However, if you're ever in need of emergency services, call 911.
- If you can’t write the report on the day that the incident happened, record some notes about what happened to help you when you do write the report.
- The time, date and location of the incident (Be specific. Write the exact street address, etc.).
- Your name and ID number
- Names of other officers who were present
- For example, a report might say: On 8/23/10 at approximately 2340, officer was assigned to 17 Dist. response vehicle. Officer was notified via radio by central dispatch of a 911 call at 123 Maple Street. Officer was also informed by central dispatch that this 911 call may be domestic in nature.
Describing What Happened
- For example, an officer's report could say: Upon arrival, I observed a 40 year old white male, known as Johnny Doe, screaming and yelling at a 35 year old white female, known as Jane Doe, in the front lawn of 123 Maple Street. I separated both parties involved and conducted field interviews. I was told by Mr. Johnny that he had come home from work and discovered that dinner was not ready. He then stated that he became upset at his wife Mrs. Jane for not having the dinner ready for him.
- Use specific descriptions. For example, instead of saying "I found him inside and detained him," write something like, "I arrived at 2005 Everest Hill at 12:05. I walked to the house and knocked on the door. I tried the knob and found it to be unlocked..."
- Police officers often have to write reports about auto accidents. It can be much clearer to illustrate with a picture or a diagram how the accident occurred. You can draw a picture of the street and use arrows to show how where each car was headed when they hit each other.
- For example, instead of saying “when I arrived, his face was red,” you could say, “when I arrived, he was yelling, out of breath, his face was red, and he seemed angry.” The second example is better than the first because there are multiple reasons someone’s face is red, not just that they are angry.
- Even though it is hearsay, make sure to write down what each individual at the scene said to you. It may be important, even if he or she is lying. Include any information about the witness’ demeanor, in case what he or she told you becomes controversial.
- Use the party’s name when possible, so you can avoid confusion when talking about multiple people. Also, spell out abbreviations. For example, say “personal vehicle” instead of “P.O.V.” (personally owned vehicle), and “scene of the crime” instead of “code 11,” which is a police term for “on the scene.”
- Preserve your integrity and the institution you represent by telling the truth.
Editing Your Report
- For example, if you forget to include the one party's reason why the argument started, then that would leave a gap.
- For example, if you included phrases that start with "I feel" or "I believe," then you would want to remove these to eliminate any bias in your report.
- If you have to mail or email your report, follow up with a phone call within a 10 day period. Do this to make sure your report was received.
Sample Police Report and Things to Include
- Ask your department for any templates or forms that they use, in order to make sure the report is in the proper format. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
- Add to the report, if new information comes to light. Add an addendum that reports the new information, rather than deleting information from your original report. That information may also be important. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 1
- Keep a copy of the report for your records. You may need to refer back to it in the future. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
- Do not ignore facts as irrelevant. At the time of a preliminary police report, investigators may not know the motive or suspect, so it is important to give as much objective detail as possible. Some details that seem irrelevant, may be important with new evidence or testimony. Thanks Helpful 36 Not Helpful 12
- Do not use opinions in a police report, unless you are asked to do so. A police report should be objective rather than subjective. Thanks Helpful 18 Not Helpful 5
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://www.lapdonline.org/lapd_manual/
- ↑ http://www.securityguardtraininghq.com/how-to-write-a-detailed-incident-report/
About This Article
To write a police report, you should include the time, date, and location of the incident you're reporting, as well as your name and ID number and any other officers that were present. You should also include a thorough description of the incident, like what brought you to the scene and what happened when you arrived. If you're having trouble explaining something in words, draw a picture or diagram to help. Just remember to be as thorough, specific, and objective as possible. To learn what other important details you should include in a police report, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Professional report writing for law enforcement officers, type 1 sample report.
Most police reports can be organized into four types. This post deals with Type 1 reports. (For an overview of all four types of reports, click here .)
Here’s a sample Type 1 report:
At 5:22 p.m. on May 12, 2010, I was dispatched to 239 Carol Avenue regarding a theft. Lawrence Cooper (DOB 7-15-1987) reported that his son David’s bicycle had been stolen.
Cooper told me:
-David (DOB 11-04-2001) had brought the bicycle into the carport the evening before (May 11)
-the bicycle wasn’t locked
-the bicycle is a blue Sears boys’ bicycle with black tires and black handlebars
-the bicycle is three years old
David went to the carport after school to ride the bicycle. He saw the bicycle was missing. When his father came home, David told him that the bike had been stolen. Lawrence called the police at 5:20.
No one was home all day. Neither David nor Lawrence knows when the bicycle was stolen. They don’t remember whether it was in the carport this morning. They did not hear any unusual noises last night.
What makes it a Type 1 report?
The answer is that this is a “Just the facts, Ma’am” report. There’s no investigation (Type 2) or intervention (Type 3).
In a Type 1 report, you interview a witness or victim and write down the information – and you’re finished. You might write a Type 1 report after a citizen reports that her bicycle was stolen. Incident reports also fall into this category.
In this type of report, your narrative may be very brief because you don’t do an investigation or make an arrest. You simply record the facts.
Here’s a review of the characteristics of a Type 1 report:
Here are a few more comments:
- Notice that this report is written in clear, crisp sentences: “No one was home all day.” “Lawrence called the police at 5:20.” There’s no attempt to impress readers with police jargon or fancy sentences. Puffing up your report with unnecessary words (“The abovementioned victim,” “It was ascertained by this officer”) just wastes time and makes you sound pompous and silly.
- Notice also that this report includes a timesaving list:
-David (DOB 11-04-2005) had brought the bicycle into the carport the evening before (May 11)
-the bicycle is a blue Sears bicycle with black tires and black handlebars
You’ve been writing lists all your life! It makes sense to use a list when you have several pieces of related information. This is called bullet style , and it’s an efficient practice that smart officers use often.
Notice too that you don’t write your entire report in bullet style! Lists are useful for a series of facts, such as a description of a suspect or a list of stolen items. You can learn more about bullets at this link .
Sign up for our FREE Police Writer e-Newsletter AND receive “10 Days to Better Police Reports”
“It will definitely help you with your writing skills.” – Joseph E. Badger, California Association of Accident Reconstructionists Newsletter
40 thoughts on “ Type 1 Sample Report ”
I am considering law enforcement. This is very helpful, thank you.
You’re welcome! I’m so glad I was helpful. Best wishes for your future plans!
can i get an example for a written report too?
There are many sample reports posted on this website. I also provide links to actual police reports posted online.
Hi Jean, I couldn’t locate your links to actual police reports posted on line. Pls advise.
same here this really helped
I want a security report sample
can you send it to me please?
I would like to know why reports are not written in third person?
Third person reports have fallen by the way side. It’s an old practice, and not very many departments still use them. It’s easier to read and comprehend first person reports.
Well said, Jason! Thanks!
Hey Jean, how do I shorten my report, when I have several witnesses with the same testimony? Thanks for your assistance in this matter
Is there an age limit to law enforcement ?
Check with the agency to see if they have age limits.
Hello Jean, This is a fantastic site. I am from the UK, and I am currently going through the selection process to become a police officer. One of the activities I need to do is to write an incident report and this has been a massive help to me.
I was wondering if you could give me some advice? The incident report I have to write, will need to be written based on a series of fictitious memos and emails. I have 30 minutes to complete this report and It’s likely I will be dealing with four different accounts of what happened. I am trying to find a structure that I can work with that will allow me pass this part of the recruitment process. I am really worried about this, and could do with some good advice. I have an example of what I have to do if that helps?
See my comment below. You can also send me the sample you mentioned: jreynoldswrite @ aol.com.
SAMPLE REPORT: ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE
Brief Detail: Type of incident: Robbery with violence Reported to: UNPOL base 3 Monrovia 3rd June 2008 at 15:30 hrs Reported by: Mr. Mirandas Main Report: On the 3rd June 2008 at 15:30 hrs, a man by the name of Mr. Mirandas called into UNPOL base 3 in Monrovia and asked to speak to a duty officer. He was shown into interview room 5 where duty officer James Colan took an interview with him. Mr. Mirandas stated that his wife had been the victim of a serious robbery and assault one hour earlier in the electric store he owns at 45 Bridge Street. The duty officer asked him to explain what had happened. Mr. Mirandas stated that he opened his shop late 14:00 hrs that day as he had to take his two children to the doctors in the, morning. He said that his wife had come to the store to help him with account keeping as he needed to pay his tax returns by the 8th June. At 14:30 hrs he left his wife alone in the shop as he wanted to go to the tax officer near his shop at G R458322 task for a form 456 that he needed to fill in. he stayed at the tax officer for ten minutes and when he returned to his shop at 14:50 hrs his wife was laying on the floor, she had a head injury but she was not seriously injured. He called the local hospital and she was transported to the people’s clinic GR398211 for further treatment. He then came immediately to the base to report the incident. The duty officer asked him for further details. He said that when he left his wife she was serving two customers, both were well dressed in blue suits and they said they wanted to buy some mobile phones for the new business they had started supplying combat uniforms for the Army. When he returned to the shop after going to the tax office his wife confirmed that the men who attacked her were the same men. The officer asked if her could provide any further details of the suspects. He said that both the men were large: one was around 185 cms and the other around 180 cms; the taller man had a beard Mr. Mrindas stated that his wife was probably more able to give details of the men after she had recovered. He also stated at this stage he had not checked his stock but he noticed that the $500 that was in the till was missing. The police asked him to go back to his shop and record all missing items from his store , they also took a contact number from him it was 487665 and asked him to contact them when his wife was fit enough to provide more information. At 16:30 hrs Mr. Miranda contacted the base to inform the duty that his wife was being discharged from the clinic at 18:00 hrs that day. The duty officers said he would contact him later day to arrange to interview her.
You’re an excellent writer! The big issue I think you should deal with is inefficiency. Police officers are busy. Omit words that are just empty fillers. You don’t need to say “by the name of.” Omit “the duty officer asked,” “The officer asked if her could provide any further details of the suspects” and similar statements. Just record what the suspect said. The purpose of a report is to record facts that will be useful for an investigation and possible prosecution. The duty officer’s questions just waste time and won’t be useful later.
Thank you for the feedback, Adrian! I’m so glad you’re finding the website useful. The assignment you’ll be doing sounds complex. My best advice is for you to write a separate paragraph for each of the four accounts. Don’t try to blend them. Every agency is slightly different, and I’m not sure what yours will be looking for (especially since you’re in the UK!). My other advice is for you to download and study the chart about the four types of police reports. When you sit down to write your report, try to place it in a category first (1, 2, 3, or 4). That way you’ll know what essential features you need to think about. (For example, Type 4 requires probable cause.) Good luck! https://www.scribd.com/doc/233662728/four-types-of-police-reports
can you please help me with our assignment? we need to trnslate filipino terms in english I have translated it already thpugh i think its really funny
1. the tricycle was thrown away 2. the car flipped over 3. Bathing in his out blood 4. the goat was taken away 5. Msr. x scolded the driver
can you please revise them fopr me in most appropriate english terms for report writing
Can anybody help me out with Police Investigation Report on Assault
This was great , thank you
I’m glad you found it helpful!
Help me with my assignment A group of students broke into the office of the vice chancellor and looted Gh¢5,000.A committee was set up to investigate the matter. As a secretary to the committee, write your report
You’ll find many resources here to help you write your report, Kwaku! I’m sorry that we don’t offer a homework service.
My name is Sakhr from Jordan. I want to ask you if you can help me with writing a report about CLA exam. The report should be like a police report. I attached a link to see the story:
Thank you so much
Hi ma’am. I am considering law enforcement as career and preparing for police entrance exam. But I am facing little problems while writing reports. I have written some reports but not sure if those are good enough to pass the exam. Is it possible somehow that I can send you reports written by me so you would mark the mistakes. I ll be really thankful.
hi I had a iPhone 7 plus stolen from me basically I was on the train I had my iPhone then suddenly I looked in my pocket someone had taken my phone from me. we tried to ring it but someone cut the call of so can you look for it but we could not. we all looked in Hainaut station nothing was there I asked Chigwell station they nothing has been handed in
This is a website to help recruits and officers write better police reports. It’s not a law enforcement website.
I am thinking about going into the law enforcement field and this was very helpful to me. Thank you so much.
I’m so pleased that my materials have been helpful! Best wishes for success.
My former employee accused me of fruding him of 2m and I want to write a statement to the police informing them about the problem But I don’t know how to write a police statement
Can someone help me I have been told to investigate into the raphant pilferage in my department and to write a report making necessary recommendations…..about 5 pages….jean I need your help thanks in anticipation
Im try ing to rewrite this for my criminal report class. Mandy Johnson Report Writing CJ-024-6012 J. Cunningham 11-27-21 Murder report Rusty C. Victor Case# 42616
On saturday november27,2021,You and your partner, Officer Maria Sanchez (unit 125), are dispatched at 11:45 p.m. to a domestic dispute in progress and possible shots fired. The address is 1210 Gentry Boulevard, 37115. Upon arrival, at 11:51 p.m., you see the front door wide open. You and your partner approach the house and enter the home. There is a white male lying on the floor with a large pool of blood next to him. Officer Sanchez checks for signs of life, but the man is dead. Death appears to be from multiple gun shots. There is a handgun lying near the victim, and several spent shell casings lying on the floor. You notify dispatch that additional personnel are needed and then you and your partner continue checking the home. You do not find anyone else in the home. Officer Sanchez gets police tape from the squad car and begins to place that around the outside perimeter of the home. You get a crime scene log so you can begin to log who will be entering and exiting the scene. Other officers begin to arrive, as do medical personnel. Paramedics Darrington and Wells, from Nashville Fire Department, arrive at 12:10 a.m. They verify that the person is deceased. The victim received multiple wounds, and they agree that he was most likely shot. Your shift commander, Lieutenant McVicker, arrives at 12:15 a.m., and investigates the scene as well. The paramedics leave the scene at 12:17 a.m. Crime Scene Investigator Paulson (#186) arrives at 12:35 a.m. He takes pictures of the scene, begins taking notes, and asks you to take custody of the gun and shell casings once he has tagged them. Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Paulson tags the gun in an evidence bag and the 6 shell casings in another. The CSI gives you the victim’s wallet, which was located in the victim’s back left pants pocket. A Tennessee Driver’s license, which has a picture resembling the victim, has his name listed as Rusty C. Victor, with a DOB of January 17, 1972. The address on the license comes back to the home you are in. The coroner, Jay Albert, arrives on scene at 12:50 a.m. A few minutes later he officially declares the victim deceased and prepares the victim for transport. Officer Sanchez tells you there is a female witness outside the crime scene tape who wants to talk about what happened, and says she knows you. You give Officer Sanchez the crime scene log and go out to meet the woman. You recognize the witness, Louis Miller, because you have arrested her before for possession of a controlled substance. She has also been a confidential informant for you in the past. Louis states she knows who killed Rusty. She says that she lives across the street, and has known Rusty for a long time. She heard several gunshots, and when she went to look out her front window she saw the victim’s ex-girlfriend running from the house, get into her car and take off. The suspect’s name is Juliette Monrovia. Louis tells you that they had a very rocky relationship, and had broken up about a month ago, but she didn’t know why. You ask if she can identify the suspect, which she can. The suspect is Hispanic, around five-foot-five, one hundred pounds, with long brown hair. She drives a small black Ford Ranger, which is an older one. Louis does not know the license plate information. You notify dispatch of the information and go back to the crime scene and advise your partner and lieutenant of the situation. Your lieutenant tells you to take the evidence back to headquarters and log it in, and then to see if you can find out more about the suspect. He has another officer, Bill Harris #321, take over the crime scene log. You and your partner take the gun, a Ruger P89, .9mm, and six, .9mm shell casings, and return to headquarters where the items are logged into the evidence room. Lieutenant McVicker contacts you on your cell phone and says that he may have an address on the suspect, which was located while searching the victim’s residence. You and your partner drive to 7446 Abbott Road in Nashville, which is believed to be the suspect’s house. Upon arrival, an 1:45 a.m., you and your partner knock on the front door. A woman matching the suspect’s description answers the door. You ask if her name is Juliette Monrovia and she tells you it is. You also see some red specks on her blue t-shirt that you believe to be blood. You ask if her ex-boyfriend is Rusty Victor. She doesn’t answer you. You ask again and she says, “What if he is?” You tell her he was killed tonight and ask if she knows what may have happened. She does not react to your statement other than saying, “Well, I guess he got what he had coming to him.” She then proceeds to slam the front door shut. Your partner is able to stop the door from closing and you both push it open, forcing your way in. The suspect begins yelling at you to get out of her house, and starts throwing things at you, including a nearby lamp, which barely misses you and your partner. You both give verbal commands for her to stop and put her hands up, which she does not do. She retreats to the kitchen area and begins throwing dinner plates at you. Then she comes out of the kitchen with a large butcher knife. Your partner tells her to drop the knife, which she does not do. She continues to walk towards you, screaming, “He fucking got what he deserved, leaving me for her! I hope he is dead, I shot him enough times he should be!” You Taser the suspect as she approaches you, causing her to fall to the ground. Your partner quickly handcuffs her while you secure the knife. A few minutes later you read the suspect her rights, and during a pat down search of her person incident to arrest, you find five .9mm bullets in her left from pants pocket. The suspect’s date of birth is 2-14-68 and she lives at the address where you found her. You arrest her on suspicion of murder and transport her to jail. She does not make any other statements to you during the ride to jail. You return to service at 2:52 a.m. Instructions Write an incident report about what happened. Use your name as the Nashville Police Officer and today’s date for this report. You were working in district 12 and your case number is 42,614. Your report must be Times New Roman font, 12 point, double spaced, and consistent with the MLA format. Your report should be 1,400 to 1,600 words for full credit. Submit your report to your professor before the due date.
Report Writing CJ-024-6012
Murder report Rusty C. Victor
On Saturday November,2021,Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson (unit 125), are dispatched at 11:45 p.m. to a domestic dispute in progress and possible shots fired. The address is 1210 Gentry Boulevard, Nashville ,tn 37115.
Upon arrival, at 11:51 p.m., you see the front door wide open. Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson approach the house and enter the home. There is a white male lying on the floor with a large pool of blood next to him. Officer Sanchez checks for signs of life, but the man is dead.
Death appears to be from multiple gunshots. There is a handgun lying near the victim, and several spent shell casings lying on the floor. Officer Mandy Johnson notified dispatch that additional personnel was needed and then Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson continued checking the home. officer Mandy Johnson doesn’t find anyone else in the home. Officer Sanchez gets police tape from the squad car and begins to place that around the outside
the perimeter of the home.
Officer Johnson gets a crime scene log so you can begin to log who will be entering and exiting the scene. Other officers begin to arrive, as do medical personnel. Paramedics Darrington and Wells, from Nashville Fire Department, arrived at 12:10 a.m. They verify that rusty c Victor is deceased. The victim received multiple wounds, and they agree that he was most likely shot.
my shift commander, Lieutenant McVicker, arrives at 12:15 a.m. and investigates the scene as well. The paramedics leave the scene at 12:17 a.m. Crime Scene Investigator Paulson (#186) arrives at 12:35 a.m. He takes pictures of the scene, begins taking notes, and asks me to take custody of the gun and shell casings once he has tagged them. Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Paulson tags the gun in an evidence bag and the 6 shell casings in another. The CSI gives me the victim’s wallet, which was located in the victim’s back left pants pocket. A Tennessee Driver’s license, which has a picture resembling the victim, has his name listed as Rusty C. Victor, with a DOB of January 17, 1972. The address on the license comes back to 1210 Gentry Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37115.
The coroner, Jay Albert, arrives on the scene at 12:50 a.m. A few minutes later he officially declares the victim deceased and prepares the victim for transport. Officer Sanchez tells me there is a female witness outside the crime scene tape who wants to talk about what happened and says she knows me. I give Officer Sanchez the crime scene log and go out to meet the woman. I recognize the witness, Louis Miller because I have arrested her before for possession of a controlled substance. She has also been a confidential informant for me in the past. Louis states
she knows who killed Rusty. She says that she lives across the street, and has known Rusty for a long time. She heard several gunshots, and when she went to look out her front window she saw the victim’s ex-girlfriend running from the house, getting into her car, and taking off. The suspect’s name is Juliette Monrovia. Louis tells me that they had a very rocky relationship, and had broken up about a month ago, but she didn’t know why. I ask if she can identify the suspect, which she can. The suspect is Hispanic, around five-foot-five, one hundred pounds, with long brown hair. She drives a small black Ford Ranger, which is an older one. Louis does not know the license plate information. I notify dispatch of the information and go back to the crime scene and advice Officer Maria Sanchez and the lieutenant of the situation. the lieutenant tells me to take the evidence back to headquarters and log it in, and then to see if i can find out more about the suspect. He has another officer, Bill Harris #321, take over the crime scene log. Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson take the gun, a Ruger P89, .9mm, and six, .9mm shell casings, and return to headquarters where the items are logged into the evidence room. Lieutenant McVicker contacts me on your cell phone and says that he may have an address on the suspect, which was located while searching the victim’s residence. Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson drive to 7446 Abbott Road in Nashville, which is believed to be the suspect’s house. Upon arrival, at 1:45 a.m., Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson knock on the front door. A woman matching the suspect’s description answers the door. I ask if her name is Juliette Monrovia and she tells me it is. I also see some red specks on her blue t-shirt that you believe to be blood. I ask if her ex-boyfriend is Rusty Victor. She doesn’t answer me. I ask again and she says, “What if he is?” I tell her he was killed tonight and ask if she knows what may have happened. She does not react to my statement other than saying, “Well, I
guess he got what he had coming to him.” She then proceeds to slam the front door shut. Officer Maria Sanchez is able to stop the door from closing and you both push it open, forcing our way in. The suspect begins yelling at Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson to get out of her house and starts throwing things at me, including a nearby lamp, which barely misses Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson. We both give verbal commands for her to stop and put her hands up, which she does not do. She retreats to the kitchen area and begins throwing dinner plates at us. Then she comes out of the kitchen with a large butcher knife. Officer Maria Sanchez tells her to drop the knife, which she does not do. She continues to walk towards us, screaming, “He fucking got what he deserved, leaving me for her! I hope he is dead, I shot him enough times he should be!” I Taser the suspect as she approaches me, causing her to fall to the ground. Officer Maria Sanchez quickly handcuffs her while I secure the knife. A few minutes later I read the suspect her rights, and during a pat-down search of her personal incident to arrest, I found five .9mm bullets in her left from pants pocket. The suspect’s date of birth is 2-14-68 and she lives at 7446 Abbott Road in Nashville. I arrest her on suspicion of murder and transport her to jail. She does not make any other statements to me during the ride to jail. , Officer Maria Sanchez and Officer Mandy Johnson (unit 125) return to service at 2:52 a.m.
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Giving a statement to the police
A statement is a written or in certain circumstances a video-recorded account of what happened. A statement can be used as evidence in court. Before making any statement, the officer will ask questions to find out exactly what happened.
Contacting the police to make a statement
When police are investigating a crime, they will record statements made by witnesses. If you're aware of a crime and want to make a statement, you can contact police:
- in an emergency, by telephoning 999 - It's an emergency where a serious injury was caused or a crime is happening and the suspects are at or near the scene
- when it isn't an emergency, by telephoning 101
- by going to the local police station during opening hours
To find police station opening hours, go to:
- Police Service of Northern Ireland
Information needed in your statement
When making a statement you should tell the police as much information about the offence as you can. This includes:
- descriptions or names of anyone involved or witnesses to the crime
- the registration number of any vehicles that were at the place when the crime happened, even if they were not involved the driver may have seen something
- descriptions, identifying marks or serial numbers of any stolen or damaged property
Giving a written statement
If you give a written statement, the police will normally ask to come to your home or ask you to visit the police station.
The police realise that talking about what you have witnessed can be a difficult experience. If you find making your statement distressing, you can ask for a break at any time.
Once the statement has been written, the police officer will ask you to read it to check it's accurate. You can ask the police officer to read your statement to you.
You will be asked to sign the statement to say that it is an accurate account of what you think happened. If something is not right, tell the police officer so that they can change it. It is very important to do this, even if you feel nervous about doing it, as it could affect the investigation.
Sometimes the police may need to speak to you more than once, for example, if they need to check information.
Giving a video recorded statement
In some cases, if the police believe you to be ‘vulnerable’ or ‘intimidated’ as defined by law, you can make a video recorded statement instead of a written statement.
Video recording is mostly used if you are under the age of 17 (soon to be 18) or are the victim in a sensitive case, for example a sex crime. You will usually be asked to go to a specially equipped video suite, which is situated in certain police stations. In some cases the police may bring recording equipment to your home or other venue that you have agreed.
The police officer who is carrying out the interview will explain how it’s done before the recording begins. If you are a young person making a video recorded statement, a supporter will be with you during the interview.
The police officer will not discuss the evidence that you are going to give before the interview is recorded. This is to make sure that you give the most accurate description of what you saw or know.
More useful links
- Victims and witnesses
- Going to court
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Reporting a hate crime or hate incident to the police
If you’ve experienced a hate crime or hate incident, you can report it to the police. You can also report it if you saw a hate crime happen to someone else.
If you’re not sure if what happened was a hate crime, you can check if something is a hate crime .
When you report the incident, the police will record what happened. They’ll usually only investigate the incident if a crime has happened - for example, if you’ve been assaulted.
The police might also investigate if you’ve experienced more than one hate incident - for example, if someone keeps harassing you. If you’re in this situation, you should report each incident to the police so they have a record.
If you don’t want to go to the police yourself, there are other ways you can report it.
In an emergency, you should call 999.
Preparing to report a hate crime or incident
It’s a good idea to contact a hate crime support service before you report the incident to the police.
The support service can help you work out what to say in your report. This will help the police be successful if they investigate the crime.
After you report the incident, the support service can also help you contact the police about your case.
You can find your nearest support service by checking a list of hate crime support services on the True Vision website .
You can also look online - try searching for the name of your local area and the words “hate crime support services”.
If you’re still struggling to find a support service in your area, talk to an adviser .
What to say when you report a hate crime or incident
The police will tell you what information you need to give when you report the incident.
It’s important to give as many details as possible - this will help the police investigate your case.
You’ll need to describe the person responsible for the hate incident - they’re known as the ‘offender’. When you describe the offender, it’s useful to give general information like age, height, build, gender, ethnicity and clothing.
Also try to remember any particular features such as:
- hair colour and facial hair
- glasses or jewellery
- tattoos or piercings
- scars or birthmarks
If a car or van was involved, say what the number plate was and what it looked like. For example, try to include things like the make, the model, the colour, how old it was and any signs of damage.
If the offender damaged your property, you should describe the damage or loss. If possible, include how much it cost to repair the damage. You can also take photos of the damage to show the police.
Giving your contact details to the police
When you report the hate incident, you’ll need to include your contact details if you want the police to investigate the incident.
If you’re worried about the police contacting you at home, you can ask them to contact you through someone you trust, like a friend or family member. Ask this person if it’s ok to give their contact details to the police.
How to report a hate crime or incident
You can report it online, by phone or in person.
Report a hate crime or incident online
You can report it on the True Vision website . The True Vision website is run by the police. Your report will be sent straight to your local police force.
You can also download an easy read version of the reporting form on the True Vision website . You can give the form to your local police station after you’ve filled it in.
Report a hate crime or incident in person or by phone
You can report it by phone or at your local police station.
When you report it, ask for the incident reference number. You’ll need this if you want to contact the police about the crime again.
To find your nearest police station, use the local police force finder on the police’s website .
To report it to the police by phone, call 101.
If you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say using Relay UK. To use Relay UK, dial 18001 then 101.
You can use Relay UK with an app or a textphone. There’s no extra charge to use it. Find out how to use Relay UK on their website .
If you don’t want to go to the police
If you don’t want to contact the police, you can ask someone else to report it for you, like a friend or family member.
You can also ask an independent organisation to report it to the police for you. These are known as ‘third party reporting centres’. Your report will be anonymous and confidential. Find out more about third party reporting .
If the police don’t think a hate incident happened
The police must record something as a hate incident if you believe it was caused by prejudice or hostility against you:
- because of your race or religion
- because of your sexuality
- because you’re disabled
- because you’re transgender
It doesn’t matter if the police don’t agree it’s a hate incident. You don’t have to show evidence of prejudice or hostility to report something as a hate incident.
If the police say you’ve experienced antisocial behaviour, tell them you want it recorded as a hate incident. If the offender is prosecuted, the penalty for hate crime is more serious than it is for antisocial behaviour.
After you report a hate crime or hate incident
The police will:
- give you an incident reference number - you can use this when you want to contact them about your case
- ask you for a statement and investigate the hate incident if they think a crime has happened
- ask if you want to be contacted by Victim Support
Victim Support is an independent charity that gives emotional and practical support to people who have experienced crime. For example, if someone damaged your property, Victim Support can help you repair it.
If the police think a crime has happened
The police will investigate your report if they think a crime has happened - for example, if you’ve been assaulted or your property has been damaged.
After you report a hate crime, the police should contact you within 7 days to find out more information. They’ll usually ask you to come to an interview. At the interview you’ll give your statement about what happened.
If the police don’t contact you within 7 days, you should call your local police station.
Giving your statement to the police
You can ask to be interviewed at the police station, your home or somewhere else. For example, the police might agree to interview you at your nearest Citizens Advice.
It’s a good idea to bring someone with you. You could ask a friend, a solicitor or an adviser from Citizens Advice to come with you.
If you don’t speak or understand English, you can bring a translator or interpreter with you. For example, you can:
bring a friend or family member
ask a local advice organisation, like Citizens Advice
ask the police to provide an interpreter
If the police don’t agree to provide an interpreter, ask to see their policy on translators and interpreters. If you think they should have provided a translator or interpreter, you can make a complaint.
After you give your statement
The police will investigate the incident. It will help the police’s investigation if you can give them evidence - for example, a video of the crime happening.
When the police have finished investigating, they’ll contact you and let you know the outcome - including if they’re charging someone with a crime.
If the police decide to charge someone, they’ll send the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS is an organisation that can take people to court - this is called ‘prosecution’. If the CPS decide not to prosecute the offender, they must let you know.
The police should:
give you advice about applying for compensation - even if the police haven’t caught the offender
give you updates about what’s happening with your case
ask for your feedback about how they handled your case
If the police don’t do these things, or you’re not happy with how they’re handling your case, you can make a complaint.
If you're not happy with how the police deal with your case
You can complain in person at the police station or by contacting your local police force. You can find your local police force on the police’s website .
If you’re not happy with the response to your complaint, you can talk to an adviser .
If you think the police treated you unfairly because of something like your race, sexuality or disability, this might be discrimination. You can check what to do if you think the police discriminated against you .
Get more help
If you’ve experienced any hate incident or hate crime, you can get support from Victim Support on their website .
There are some national organisations that can help you if you’ve experienced a specific type of hate crime - for example, a transphobic hate crime.
If you’re LGBTQ+
If you’ve experienced a homophobic or transphobic hate incident or hate crime, you can get support from galop on their website .
If you’re Muslim
If you’ve experienced an Islamophobic hate incident or hate crime, you can get support from Tell MAMA on their website .
If you’re Gypsy, Roma or Traveller
If you’ve experienced a racist hate incident or hate crime, you can get support from Friends, Families and Travellers on their website .
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How to write organized and concise police reports
Set the scene, by introducing the people, property and other information before it is discussed.
Police report writing sets the scene to explain and understand the incident. (Photo/West Midlands Police via Flickr)
The information and methods in this article are more fully discussed in John Bowden’s excellent book “ Report Writing For Law Enforcement & Corrections .” It is available from Amazon and other booksellers.
Article updated October 19, 2018
What is the secret to good police report writing ? The answer is organization and clarity. By following these two principles, you’re already on the path to a great report. A major problem for a lot of report writers is organization, not writing the report in chronological order.
One of the biggest challenges with the concept of chronological order is the order according to whom? Is it the writer, the victim, a witness or perhaps even the suspect? Each of these actors in the event has their own perspective to the order of events. Download a copy of this guide to print and keep at your desk.
Where should I begin the police report?
For the writer, the incident starts when they first arrive on the scene. For the victim, it is when they first realize they are the victim. For the witness, it is when they first see the action that makes them a witness. Of course, for the suspect, it is when they make that conscious decision to commit the crime. True chronological order means the order in which the events actually occurred.
Many reports begin this way:
While on patrol, (date and time) I received a call to (location). Upon my arrival, I spoke to the victim, (name) who said...
This format is told in the order in which the events occurred to the writer. It can work and has worked since report writing began, in simple cases with few principles, facts and evidence. In these cases, it is easy to use and can be understood fairly well.
The problems in clarity occur when there are multiple principals, a significant amount of evidence and events occurred over a longer time period of time.
You know you’re having problems organizing the report when it’s unclear where or how to begin the report.
Tell the incident story backward
This format is not what I would call a report. It is a statement from the writer saying what happened to them. In fact, in most cases, the crime has already occurred and the writer is telling the story backward. When asked why they write this way, many report writers will state that they don’t want to make it look like they are making it up — they want to emphasize where they received the information.
I have a simple startup paragraph that relieves this concern and makes it clear where the information came from:
I, (name), on (date and time) received a call to (location) reference to (the crime). My investigation revealed the following information.
This one short paragraph is interpreted to mean you talked to all the parties involved and examined the evidence. A report is not a statement of what the writer did (although this format can more or less work). A report tells the story of what happened, based on the investigation.
Some writers are concerned about being required to testify about what the report revealed. This is not a concern. You only testify to what you did, heard or saw.
When a witness tells you what they saw, you cannot testify to those facts, only that they said it to you. Their information should be thoroughly documented in their own written statements. Each witness, victim or suspect will testify to their own part in the case. Crime scene technicians and experts will testify to the evidence and how it relates to the case.
Your story, told in true chronological order, will be the guide to the prosecutor of what happened. It is like the outlines in a coloring book. The prosecutor will add the color with his presentation, using all the subjects and experts as his crayons to illustrate the picture – the story.
The investigating officer that writes the report is one of those crayons.
Set the scene
We start the process with the opening statement I outlined above. You can change the verbiage to suit your own style. The important phrase is the last sentence, “My investigation revealed the following information.” This tells the reader that this is the story of what happened. Your actions will be inserted in the story as it unfolds.
When you start, set the scene. Introduce the people, property and other information before it is discussed. For example, with a convenience store robbery, set the time, location and victim before you describe the action.
Mr. Jones was working as a store clerk on Jan 12th, 2013, at the Mid-Town Convenience store, 2501 E. Maple Street, at 2315 hours. Jones was standing behind the counter, facing the store. There were no other people in the store.
These first few sentences set the scene. The next sentence is the next thing that happens.
Approximately 2020 hours the suspect walked in the front door.
Each of the following sentences is merely a statement of what happened next.
- The suspect walked around the store in a counterclockwise direction.
- When he emerged from the back of the store he was wearing a stocking mask.
- He walked up to the counter and pointed a small revolver at the clerk.
- He said, “Give me all the money in the register...”
If you have multiple subjects involved in the event, introduce and place them all at the same time, before starting the action. A good example of this is a shoplifting case with multiple suspects and multiple loss prevention officers. Before starting the action, place all the people.
This makes it easy to describe the action when it starts.
After you finish telling the story, you can add all the facts that need to be included in the report not brought out in the story. Here are facts that can be included, if available:
- Evidence collected
- Pictures taken
- Statements of witnesses, the victim and even the suspect.
- Property recovered
- Any facts needed to be documented in the case
Using this process will ensure your police report is clear and complete.
Want a copy of this guide to keep at your desk? Fill out the form below to download a printable guide.
John Bowden is the founder and director of Applied Police Training and Certification. John retired from the Orlando Police Department as a Master Police Officer In 1994. His career spans a period of 21 years in law enforcement overlapping 25 years of law enforcement instruction. His total of more than 37 years of experience includes all aspects of law enforcement to include: uniform crime scene technician, patrol operations, investigations, undercover operations, planning and research for departmental development, academy coordinator, field training officer and field training supervisor.
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Get a copy of your police records
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You might need a subject access request if you move to another country.
A subject access request has records from:
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You can contact ACRO to make a subject access request.
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Police certificates for visa applications
You can contact ACRO to request a police certificate. You may need a certificate if you’re applying for a visa or emigrating to some countries, including:
- New Zealand
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It costs £55 to get the certificate.
It may take up to 20 working days to receive a certificate.
Personal record requests from other organisations
You can also request your personal records from the following organisations:
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10+ Police Report Examples in PDF
Unfortunately, there are a lot of incidents that one could go through that would involve the police—situations like being the victim of a robbery, for example. If you are a member of law enforcement, you have to help these people. One way you can start is by writing down their experiences and making a report out of it. In this article, we will show you how to come up with a police report .
10+ Police Report Examples
Sample police accident report.
Police File Report
Size: 309 KB
Police Incident Report
Size: 271 KB
Police Crime Report Example
Size: 223 KB
Police Evidence Report in PDF
Size: 71 KB
Police Grant Report
Size: 377 KB
Police Loss Report
Size: 14 KB
Police Investigation Report
Size: 17 KB
Size: 212 KB
What Is a Police Report?
A police report is an important document stating a record of a criminal incident, such as assault, identify theft, or robbery, for example. Any representative in the police department can write a police report. Making a report needs to be dangerous because it involves legal procedures. The law enforcement team also writes them after someone reports an accident or crime to them.
How To Write a Police Report
In the last three decades (1990-2018), there has been a decline in reports on violent crimes in the United States, as shown by Statista research. Whatever the reasons are, know that a well-written police report can go a long way in resolving an issue. Here are some tips on how to write it well.
1. Take Note of Those Involved
Another essential detail to take note of in your police report is to write down the information of the people who filed the report. It could be the victim themselves, an associate of theirs, or a bystander who saw the event. Take their information as well so that you can follow up on them for any more details.
2. Include Official Details
To make your police reports look real is to place the logo and official information in the form. Include the name and address of the police department in the format of your police report. This will help other officers easily identify the legitimate copy of the police report. This is vital, especially since this is a legal document.
3. Write The Narrative
When making a police report, be meticulous when writing down how the incident went. This is important as it can help investigators solve the situation much quicker. Pay attention to whoever is giving the statement , and don’t leave a single detail out.
4. Note The Crime and Suspects
As you note the incident, try to identify the potential suspects and the crime committed in your police report. That way, investigators and other officers will be up to speed once they take a look at your statement.
Can I get a police report online?
Yes, you can! Usually, you can get a police report by visiting your local precinct and reporting an incident to an officer. Nowadays, a lot of police departments have websites that allow you to do it online.
What happens after I file a police report on a crime?
After you file a police report, an officer would lead an investigation to look further into the case and decide whether the suspect should face arrest. If the grounds of detention are dangerous, they get a warrant for arrest and charge the criminal.
Are police records kept available online?
No, they are not. Police records are not a part of the court system, so it is not readily available for everybody to look into. This also means the documents are not posted online for viewing as well.
Making a well-written report is crucial in solving the case and ending on a good note. Whether it is a report on a stolen car or something a lot more serious, we hope you can write a police report with the tips mentioned above. If you need any more ideas on writing one, feel free to browse through our incident reports and summary templates as a guide for you.
10 Examples of Public speaking
20 Examples of Gas lighting
What is it.
The Police Certificate is for people who want to emigrate; need a visa to live and work abroad; or are looking to obtain citizenship or residency in another country.
The Police Certificate will show your:
- Personal details
- Applicable convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings in line with the ACRO step-down model
- Criminal records from overseas authorities – if shared with the United Kingdom
It is your responsibility to contact the relevant Embassy, High Commission or requesting authority to check if a Police Certificate will be acceptable. This is because Police Certificates are not accepted in every country. We cannot offer a refund if the relevant authority refuses to accept the Police Certificate.
You cannot use the Police Certificate to gain employment or immigrate to the United Kingdom.
If you also want to work with children in another country, your employer may also require you to provide them an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC). For more information see our ICPC page .
What you need
To apply for a Police Certificate you will need to complete an application form. To complete this form, you will need to provide your personal information and the following:
- A recent photograph – you must provide one high quality, colour image that clearly identifies you, with a plain neutral background, in the style of a passport photograph. It must be no more than 2MB in size and must be in JPG, GIF or TIF format.
- Colour copies of your passport or travel document – you must provide copies that show all your passport details. If you do not have a passport or travel document, provide a copy of an alternative official photographic identity document.
- Valid email address – so we can contact you if we need further information, or to provide you with progress updates.
- Address history – you must provide your address history for the last 10 years, including dates you lived at these addresses. If you have lived outside of the UK for more than 10 years, then you will also need to provide your last UK address.
- Payment method – you will need a valid debit or credit card to pay for your Police Certificate.
If you are applying on behalf of someone else (the data subject), you must provide:
- Signed letter of authorisation from the data subject or a copy of a Power of Attorney (if appropriate).
- Proof of identity that show the data subject’s signature (passport, driving licence or identity card).
How much does it cost?
Each application costs £55 and this will provide you with one copy of your certificate. Additional copies of your certificate cost £6 each. You can order additional copies at the time that you submit your application form or up to six months after receiving your certificate.
How do I apply?
To apply for a Police Certificate please download the Microsoft Word form via the button below. This must be completed electronically. If you are an Apple device user without Microsoft Word please read the additional guidance before downloading the form.
Once you’ve completed the form, please email this along with any supporting documentation (following the guidance below) to [email protected] . When doing this please ensure you do the following:
- Attach all supporting documents to the email as separate attachments. Attachments should be no larger than 2MB each.
- Application forms must be completed and saved in Microsoft Word format.
- A colour photograph of the applicant (in the style of a passport photograph) must be attached to the email. Passport style colour photographs must be in JPG, PNG, GIF or TIF formats only. The file name must be named ‘PHOTO’ and include the appropriate extension for the file type e.g. PHOTO.jpg.
- All other attachments you provide must be no more than 2MB in size and must be in JPG, GIF, TIF, PDF or Word format.
- Your proof of ID (e.g. passport) must be attached to the email in JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF or PDF formats only. The file name must be named ‘PROOF’ and include the appropriate file extension for the file type e.g. PROOF.jpg.
- Payment is required before we can process your application. The application form includes information on how you can make this payment.
Failure to follow the above instructions can lead to delays in processing your application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can someone apply on my behalf.
If you want someone to apply on your behalf, they can do so if they have Power of Attorney or, alternatively, you must provide written consent with your application form.
How long will it take?
It can take up to 30 working days to process your certificate before posting. Please also allow additional time for your certificate to arrive in the post.
How will I receive my certificate?
By post. Delivery by first class post or standard airmail is included in the application fee. You can request enhanced delivery options when completing your application.
ACRO is able to send Police Certificates to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), but not to any other authority or embassy.
ACRO is unable to email copies of your certificate.
What are the delivery options?
Delivery by first class post or standard airmail is included in the application fee. International tracked delivery is available for overseas addresses at an additional cost of £9.
International Courier delivery will cost £48 per application. It is not available for UK addresses or PO Boxes (except for the United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands). ACRO use CitySprint to deliver certificates.
How long is the certificate valid?
There is no set time that the Police Certificate is valid because different authorities have different validity periods. It is your responsibility to check what the validity period is with the relevant authority before making an application.
If you have previously applied for a Police Certificate, you can request additional copies up to six months after you received your original certificate. After six months, you will need to submit a new application.
What is the ACRO step-down model?
Criminal convictions that appear on the Police National Computer (PNC) do so until the data subject is deemed to have reached 100 years of age. The step-down model is used by ACRO as a means of ensuring that the disclosure of criminal convictions on Police Certificates and International Child Protection Certificates (ICPC) is proportionate and necessary for the intended purpose, in compliance with Data Protection legislation.
Offences are stepped down after a set time period, while taking into account the seriousness of the offence, the age of the subject when the offence was committed, the outcome and the sentence imposed. In addition, impending prosecutions and current investigations are also published, although a certificate can be re-issued once the outcome is known.
The step-down model is set out in detail within the ACRO step-down model guidance document (document will download).
How do I complete the form on an Apple device?
Applicants will require Microsoft Word, or a Microsoft 365 account for the downloaded application form to be fully interactive, editable, and responsive. If you do not have Microsoft Word available to you on your Apple device then:
- Ensure that you have downloaded the Apple app called ‘Pages’ from the App Store, prior to downloading the application form.
- Open the form in 'Pages'. The form becomes editable; however, the dropdown options will not work, and will require the applicant to delete the text already present in the answer field, and to then type in the correct answer manually.
- Once the form has been completed, within the Pages app, the applicant will need to click on three dots '...' at top of page, select 'Export' then 'Word' and then 'Share' where they can select 'Mail' to send ACRO a Microsoft Word compatible version of the form via email.
Can I get my certificate translated through ACRO?
ACRO do not offer a translation service.
Can I get my certificate apostilled through ACRO?
ACRO do not offer an apostille service. Please see the gov.uk website for legalising documents (opens in new window) to obtain details about how to apostille your certificate.
The Apostille is an official government-issued certificate added to documents so they will be recognised when presented in another country.
Can I use the Police Certificate as a ‘certificate of good character’?
You cannot use the ACRO Police Certificate as a certificate of good character or good conduct. If you’re being asked to produce a certificate of good character or good conduct, contact the relevant organisation to check their requirements.
I need to change the details on my application, pay for additional copies or change the delivery details. How can I do this?
Contact ACRO Customer Services by telephone or email ( [email protected] ). Please include your ACRO application reference number in any emails and have it to hand if calling us.
I think the information on my certificate is incorrect. What should I do?
Contact ACRO Customer Services by email ( [email protected] ).
To question information held on the Police National Computer (PNC) contact the police force which owns the data. ACRO Customer Services will be able to advise you on who to contact.
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NON FICTION TEXT How to write a Police Crime Report KS3
Age range: 11-14
Resource type: Worksheet/Activity
27 February 2020
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An written example and template for writing a Police Crime Report. Can be used for English or History to recount an event or details from a novella.
Tes paid licence How can I reuse this?
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Poorly written example with very little detail.
Empty reply does not make any sense for the end user
Thank you. Really helpful and saved me time. Also, great to be able to copy and paste into Google Classroom for remote learning.
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