What Happens When You File a Police Report?

David Freund/E+/Getty Images

When filing a police report, visit the police station nearest to where the crime took place, accurately report the incident and truthfully answer all of the officer’s questions. The police investigate the events before handing the case to a prosecutor if the event is deemed a crime.

When investigating, the police need the victim’s name, the assailant’s name or physical description, the addresses for both parties, and the date and time of day that the incident occurred. Some of the questioning may seem insensitive or even painful, but the police need to know every detail about how and why the crime occurred.

If a crime is in progress, call 911. If 911 is dialed accidentally, stay on the line and explain the accident to the operator. Otherwise, the police assume that a crime is in progress and that the reporting person had to leave the phone.