Written Report Types
- Requires good writing skills and practice
- Is written in the “first person” i.e. “I. .. “
- The security officer
- expands the information from his field notes;
- explains the event in logical order;
- and arranges the report to clearly present the details
- Narrative report is a short summary of an incident
- Overview- date, time location, event suspect, victim
- Witnesses- listed by name, address, phone, description, relation to incident, and a summary of what they can testify to.
- Evidence- numbers and lists and evidence seen
- Detailed narrative of the event- including “5-W’s and H” in time sequence from beginning to end.
- Form- style report (fill in the blank)
- The security officer
- completes the form from information in field notes
- fills in all the blanks; if one does not apply use the notation N/A
- pays attention to detail and accuracy
- write a summary of the event at the end of the pre-printed form.
A well written report is:
- written in plain, “everyday” language
- free from opinion, prejudice and bias
Pay special attention to the following areas:
Spelling– if you are using a computer to type your report; access the “tools” and perform a spelling and grammar check. If the report is hand written use a dictionary to verify spelling.
Grammar– if you are using a computer to type your report; access the “tools” and perform a spelling and grammar check. If the report is handwritten remember to use short, clear sentences to minimize grammatical errors.
Objective versus subjective– As you make observations that you are required to report it is necessary to distinguish between objective and subjective. The type of description you should use in your report is objective, factual commentary. This could include a person’s height, weight, skin color, weapons seen, threats made, etc. A subjective comment is one in which you are expressing an opinion. For instance you see a man running from an open door and you conclude he was breaking in. This conclusion is subjective. Avoid making subjective comments.
Legibility– If possible use a computer to type your report. It has the advantages of spelling and grammar checks, being legible, and can be saved for future reference. Otherwise, use a pencil and print legibly.
A written report provided a clearly understandable, permanent record of an event. It provides a traceable method for a security officer to communicate important information to his employer and client.
The security personnel may be the only source of information to the client for certain items: including repairs (lights, doors, etc). And the more information provided to the client, the more he has confidence in your ability.
Written documentation from the time of an event serves as an excellent resource to recall events for testimony in a court of law.