Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP)
Report writing is a skill often undervalued by officers. In reality, the ability to write an effective report can be one of the most important elements of an investigation — a well written report can convey complex information in a logical and comprehensive manner and can form the most important link in the judicial chain. Furthermore, writing an effective report is an opportunity to showcase investigation skills, critical thinking abilities, and strategic approaches to policing.
Reporting Writing instructs on how to communicate information in a logical, concise, and accurate manner. In addition to exploring the importance of reports in investigative and judicial processes, it also examines strategies to improve the quality of writing skills, including grammar and report structure.
When you have completed this course, you will be able to:
- Evaluate your report writing and make necessary improvements so your reports are relevant, well structured, and precise
- Recall the complexity of writing effective reports, as well as the high volume of writing officers complete on a daily basis
- Recall that an officer’s investigative abilities are expressed through report writing
- Recall the police report pathway, which outlines the different steps that may or may not lead to charges being laid
- Assess the quality of your investigation by using the Evidence, Belief, and Action cycle
- Use the Evidence, Belief, and Action cycle to analyze evidence, form your beliefs, and take appropriate actions
- List all necessary information in your report, including all charges, the count, Criminal Code section, date, time, and place
- Provide and describe any evidence to support your charge(s)
- Complete an investigative summary by information about “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, and “why” as well as the elements of the charge
- Apply the Goals, Objectives, and Strategies model to write the report in one draft, including sufficient information while using a minimum number of words
- Construct a clear, concise report that describes the events in chronological order
- Apply grammatical strategies to improve the quality of your writing
This course is part of the Investigative Skills Education Program (ISEP) Level 200.