Free police reports are only available to crime victims through some police departments, such as the New York City Police Department. Usually, copies of these reports are only accessible to third parties at a nominal fee. To get the records, individuals make a formal request in person or by mail.
Crime victims have a right to police reports concerning their incidents. The information is usually obtainable directly from the department in which the police report is filed. Typically, victims get copies of police reports immediately after police file them. They can also request additional reports by simply contacting the agencies that first issued the reports.
A defendant can obtain copies of police reports that are related to him from the District Attorney’s office prosecuting his case. The defendant's lawyer can also make requests for the reports on his behalf.
Third parties not involved in the incident can also obtain the report but only if the matters enclosed within are settled. However, some states allow third parties access to police reports even while cases are pending. To get such a report, a person needs to know the case number and ask for it at the county clerk’s office in which the police report is filed.