Can police reports have mistakes? Let's go through some of the most common issues that police reports can have!
Grammar, spelling, punctuation errors: This is an obvious human error, and includes anything from punctuation to spelling.
Jargon: Using words that an average person wouldn't be familiar with is a tactic often used to confuse or complicate things, especially in a criminal case.
Leaving out details: For example, "the suspect was taken to Rockwall County Jail." This should read, "Officer Fred took the suspect John Smith to the Rockwall County Jail."
Leaving out the results of the investigation: For example: "I searched for fingerprints on the suspects car." It should read, " I searched for fingerprints on the suspects car, and did or did not find any prints." Some reports can be super detailed, and the results of what was happening are left off completely.
Writing vaguely: As mentioned above, some reports are super detailed, and some are simply not. Leaving out details is a huge mistake in a report. You don't want to read , " uncooperative" in the report, you want to read specific details that describe what was happening that made the suspect uncooperative.
Bias: Writing descriptions on a report such as " the suspect appears to be gang related based on their clothing..." or "the suspect appears to be part of the theft based on their baggy clothes," is a huge biased statement, and very much frowned upon. Just because someone appears the way you perceive them to be, doesn't mean they are actually that way.
Mistakes of fact: This happens more than you would think, mistakes like license plate numbers, drivers license numbers, incorrect times and locations, etc. All of these could work in your favor if needed.
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