• Police reports are filed for a variety of reasons. Some instances include auto accidents, to report a crime, violation of civil rights, knowing about a crime suspect, crimes in progress, to report fires and fire alarms, suspected criminal activity, burglaries and robberies, assaults, to report stolen property or add serial numbers to statewide databases for tracking criminal activity so as to help prevent future crimes from occurring or continuing.

    Police Report Number

    Ensure that you have the police report numbers that were assigned when the report was taken or filed. There are often different ways to track reports. The incident number is a key component that police departments use to generate further information, for reference and for retrieval. Therefore, having that incident number is necessary in order to obtain a copy of the police report in question.

    Reason for Obtaining a Copy

    There are many reasons why a copy of a police report is necessary. Courts and insurance companies usually require copies of police reports if they are filed in connection with a later claim or lawsuit. A police report can be the most important exhibit of evidence in any case, complaint or legal proceeding. The report serves as a written record of what transpired and the statements made by the parties concerned. It also contains the officiating police officer's observations, opinions, thoughts and statements made by others involved. For traffic related situations, the record includes the arresting officer's point of view about what happened when he either stopped a vehicle, reported on an accident, followed procedure, checked out a vehicle, performed sobriety tests or decided to arrest a person. It is important to determine the purpose of the copy because in many cases, a certified copy will be needed to serve adequately as evidence in any kind of case or claim.

    Police Department Records

    Contact the police department in your region to get a police report. Information on police records is sometimes on their official web sites. You can also call your local police station and ask what the procedure is to obtain a copy of your report. Usually, police reports can be obtained by providing the control or report number, paying a small fee. You can either order it over the phone or go in person to the police department headquarters after several business days. For example, the city of San Diego, California, charges $12.00 for a copy of a police report either by mail or in person.

    Outside Services

    There are outside companies that deal in the online distribution of accident and incident reports. The services incorporate software and are used to obtain all kinds of police records for a variety of purposes. Be prepared, however, to pay extra fees for these types of services. One advantage is that you can usually get copies of reports sooner than through the police departments.


    Police Reports

    USA Search

    San Diego Police Department

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    Government Arrest Records

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