How To Write Good Incident Reports
Writing a good incident report is one of the core competencies you need as a great security guard. The reports are written descriptions of an unusual event. Written correctly, they help police investigations by providing a detailed, factual account of an event, describing the who, what, when, where, why and how.
Understandably, writing an incident report might not be your favourite responsibility as a security guard. However, all security guard jobs will require you to write one.
A well-written incident report will have a significant influence in the way your employer rates your performance as a guard. In this article, we hope to help you organise your thoughts and give you a few tips on how to write a professional incident report.
Keep It Simple
The key thing to remember when writing an incident report is to keep it simple. Many security guards drown their reports with highly technical “police terms”. Although sounding very professional, it also makes it difficult to understand when read by managers, supervisors, or even witnesses that don’t have any security training.
The easier it is to understand, the better your report will be at communicating what happened. Use common sense, and keep it conversational.
Remember The Basics
Back in primary school, you learned the basics of writing a story: it has a beginning, middle and end. It should also answer the central questions of who, what, when, where, why and how. We list down some guide questions for you to create a detailed incident report.
Who were the people involved in the incident? Provide information on how the people involved looked? Make sure to stay objective and courteous when detailing appearances.
What happened? Your chance to tell the story, organise it chronologically, be descriptive and informational. If you are unsure if certain elements are essential, leave them in, a more detailed report is better than having little information.
When did it happen? Include the time the event took place. If you’re not sure, approximate and state that in your report.
Where did it happen? Include details of the location, address, the weather, lighting conditions, etc.
Why did it happen? Often the most difficult part because it talks about the motive of the person. Best to leave out when you’re not sure.
How did it happen? Also difficult to answer, try to confirm the details that took place, but only if you’re sure it indeed happened.
Observe and Report
Yes, this is practically security guard 101 but remember to include only facts. Your job is to observe and report the incident as you experienced it.
Try to beef up your report with evidence. If you had the opportunity to catch the incident on camera, add the videos or pictures. It will help the investigating authorities having details on your report like this.
If you are new to the security industry, don’t fret. CSS Central provides training to newly hired guards, and we will not hesitate to teach you skills you need to succeed in the security industry. We take pride in our professional and confident guards because we empower them. For more details about security guard training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.