How to Write a Private Investigator Surveillance Report
Updated: Sep 21
The reason Private Investigators new to the career can’t write good surveillance reports is due to the alien nature of an objective report, which is not taught in school. New Private Investigators will have gone through over a decade of schooling, being taught proper writing that is fit for publications. This is not Private Investigator report writing. A proper Private Investigator surveillance report will need to be written with five reporting concepts: objectively reporting, correct witness conformation, conforming language, the use of past/ present tense, and the use of "need to know" information.
The concept of writing in a manner to allow the reader to make their own conclusions will be hard for a new Private Investigators to grasp without utilizing and understanding the five concepts. It is easy (and wrong) to write for a surveillance report: “the subject drove fast.” On the contrary, it is difficult (and correct) to explain the posted speed limit and average speed others were driving in comparison to the subject. The latter being the correct way for a report. Without proper Private Investigator report training, a PI just starting their career will not grasp this report writing style.
After learning objectively reporting, correct witness conformation, conforming language,
the use of past/ present tense, and the use of "need to know" information, a Private Investigator will be able to create a well written surveillance report. This report will be easy to read and understand for non-Private Investigators, such as the client. Furthermore, writing in this correct manner will make the report litigious and fit for litigation. With a little education in this subject, new PIs will have no trouble creating high quality surveillance reports.
ICPI 101 Report Writing for Private Investigators
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