File A Police Report Online – Detail Your Incident Here
A police report can be filed online here. It has precisely the same legal value as an in-person or telephone report, or so I am informed. You will receive an email with a police report number in acknowledgement.
Please do it. It may not help anything, but it can’t hurt. Doing nothing will certainly have no effect whatsoever.
Note: I prefer this approach as I do not worry an Officer will mangle my statement. Also, it has been suggested I can be a little loquacious, and with this approach I don’t fret over the Officer falling asleep as I prattle on. Even when I’m going to make a report in person, I do this first, so I know my statement is accurate. I’m told the authorities appreciate this method too, and do read every report.
postscript: One does not even need to supply contact information. Do not, however, provide false contact information like “Mickey Mouse” as your name, not that anyone here would. Contact information is optional. I supply it myself, but almost always indicate I prefer to be contacted in followup by email, and the Police have always complied with that request.
Everyone here should know they can file a police report online. I do not want to read about somebody with a broken collarbone in the hospital again. Call me selfish.
FILE A REPORT ONLINE!
If you are so inclined, please share the details with the community too.
I may be wrong, but I think there’s a significant difference between an online tip form and a legitimate police report taken by an officer. I’ll do some legwork on this, but in the meantime PLEASE DO NOT replace calling 911 just to file one of these tip forms online. They are definitely not the same thing.
@scott — Having only thought about this but not researched the nuts and bolts of Pgh police procedure, I think you’re probably right.
The difference to me is in the status of the reporting party. If you see someone break into the house next door to you and you report it to the police, that’s a tip to them regarding suspected illegal activity. You would use the tip report and that would be how the police would treat the information. They show up at the scene to gather and evaluate information first hand and determine what has happened.
If it’s your house that’s broken into, now you’re the victim of the crime. The police still show up to gather and evaluate information first hand to determine what happened. But now they interview you as part of their process of gathering/evaluating information firsthand while they are there.
I think this difference would be true no matter what the crime or attempted crime the victim was involved in – a mugging or a bunch of teen-age jerks having what they consider a little fun.
Therefore, if you’re the victim or intended victim of the crime, you need to contact the police and file an actual police report so they can get the information first hand from you and ask questions to get information they need to have.
I’ll do like you and cross post this to the other thread.
I’m just crossXposting this since so many threads deal with it now:
My contact in the Police Department had this to say:
“The online tip form functions as its name implies. The tips are forwarded to the appropriate unit for follow up and investigation. It is NOT an official police report. If an officer follows up on the tip by phone or in person and the tipster wants to provide their name and more information a police report can be filed (assuming there is evidence of a crime, not just suspicious activity.)
“You are correct about calling 911. If a person is assaulted, robbed, threatened, accosted, harassed, etc., 911 should be called right away. The first step would be ensuring your personal safety. Call 911 and give a description and direction of flight for the suspects. The caller should give a description of themselves and their exact location and wait for the officer to arrive. I would not suggest waiting until you get home to call. By calling as soon as it is safe, you give the officers the opportunity to search for the suspects and potentially make an arrest. The more time that passes the less likely we are to find the suspects. If you are a victim of a property crime when you have no suspect information (stolen bike, vehicle break-in, etc.) time is not necessarily of the essence. You can call 911 and make a police report over the phone or have an officer come out to take your report in person.”
@scott — thanks for following up with this for everyone on the board. It’s info we all need to know. It looks to me like your contact pretty much said what I guessed at, but he was more succinct and clear than I was.
Thanks again. I think I can speak for everyone in saying we appreciate your work on this.
I’ll cross post this also.
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