When drafting any type of police report, it is crucial for the reporting officer to be concise in their choice of words. In order to for the defendant to receive the fair treatment that they are entitled to by the justice system, the reporting officer must make sure that the report which they are filing is accurate in nature. To ensure this, the officer must report all the information to the best of their recollection. To do this correctly, all bias must be set aside when evaluating the case. This is a general prerequisite as law enforcement officer anyway, and should especially be put into practice when they are drawing up the report.
In recent years, there have been more reported instances of racially biased police mistreatment. This is based on the accounts of African-Americans, who tend to feel that the reasons for their detainment were unexplained or unjustified (Lundman & Kaufman, 2003). While bias in law enforcement certainly exists, it is something which must be set aside when creating reports. To do this, all relevant details must be disclosed in a neutral manner, whether they work for or against the defendant.
While police practices can determine the way that victims and offenders react, communication is especially necessary among judicial system stakeholders (Carter & Grommon, 2016). These are ultimately the people which will determine the fate of the involved parties in criminal and civil cases. Police reports are some of the most effective pieces of evidence which can bring a person to justice as well as mercy. For the sake of preserving justice in society, a concise report is necessary. Nothing should be omitted, inflated, or added if it untrue. This allows the prosecuting parties and the judge to evaluate the case in the most accurate way possible, ensuring the success of our judicial system.
- Carter, J. G., & Grommon, E. (2016). Police as Alert Responders? Lessons Learned about Perceived Roles and Responses from Pretrial GPS Supervision of Domestic Violence Defendants. Policing, paw009. doi:10.1093/police/paw009
- Lundman, R. J., & Kaufman, R. L. (2003). DRIVING WHILE BLACK: EFFECTS OF RACE, ETHNICITY, AND GENDER ON CITIZEN SELF-REPORTS OF TRAFFIC STOPS AND POLICE ACTIONS*. Criminology, 41(1), 195-220. doi:10.1111/j.1745-9125.2003.tb00986.x