When writing a security report, attention to detail is essential, as is good writing. Security report writing should adhere to good writing principles while including all necessary information. When done correctly, your security report will provide a detailed and easy-to-read narrative of an incident.
Let us explain what a security report exactly is...
When a relevant incident occurs, a security report should be written. What that incident is depends on your business, but it could be theft, a break-in, a fire, employee property misuse, or trespassing.
The incident's date and time.
The incident's location, including address.
The type of incident, as well as a detailed account of what occurred.
Names of any victims, as well as their injuries
Names of any witnesses, as well as their accounts of what occurred.
A profile of the alleged perpetrators.
Property that has been stolen or damaged.
If there were any arrests.
A security report should always include the "who," "what," "when," "where," "why," and "how" of an incident.
Types of security reports
Security reports are not only written when there is an incident, because incidents should not occur on a regular basis. You might also be required to write security reports such as:
A daily activity report that includes a summary of what a security guard experienced during a shift, including any shift changes or unusual activity.
A maintenance report that assists in ensuring that all security equipment is always operational.
An accident report detailing the circumstances surrounding any accident that occurred on company property or nearby.
A monthly summary report that includes an overview of all activity for the month so you can get a bigger picture of security and any areas where you may be vulnerable.
The types of reports you must submit are entirely at the discretion of your employer and the agreement they have with your security company. To stay in compliance, you may need to write several each month.
Preparing your security guard report
A significant amount of preparation is required before beginning to write a security report. Before writing a security guard report, interviews and evidence should be conducted. Pose open-ended questions that lead to more information. That is the best way to ensure you have all of the facts and details correct.
It may take a few days to gather all of the necessary information, so don't rush. It is more important to get everything right than to submit a report that must later be resubmitted for accuracy.
How to write a security report
When you have all of the necessary information, you can start writing your security guard report. Work from a template if your company has one. If not, write in narrative form, with complete sentences and paragraphs, as if you were telling a story.
When writing an incident/security report, remember to stick to the facts and avoid inserting your opinions.
Be descriptive and thorough.
When possible, use quotes from witnesses, victims, and suspects.
Write in simple terms so that anyone reading the report can understand it.
Write concisely and only include relevant information.
To ensure a logical flow, write your report as if you were telling someone a story.
To avoid confusion, write in the third person.
Make sure to correct any typos and grammatical errors.
Before submitting the final report, you should write a rough draught and edit it.
Include a timeline of events
Even when writing in narrative form, including a timeline of events can be beneficial. This is especially useful when several significant events occur within the same incident.
You can include a timeline of events as a bulleted list or in paragraph form, but it should list each event in chronological order. In either case, numbering the events can help your report stand out.
Here's an example of an incident report with a numbered list:
On April 19, 2022, at 13:50 hrs., the suspect who appeared to be an IC1 male approximately 5ft 8 tall, dressed all in black trespassed on company grounds, looking for ways to break into the Fitzrovia building.
The suspect broke and entered the front door of the Fitzrovia building at 03.28hrs that same day.
The suspect exited the front door at 03:36hrs with company equipment and ran away towards Tottenham Court Road.
Turning to useful writing resources
It may be difficult for you to finish your security report writing the first few times, especially if writing is not your favourite activity. If you need writing help, you can look up examples online, enrol in a writing course, or read writing books.
It may also be beneficial to describe the incident to another person while jotting it down so that you can write it as you explain it. You can also have another person read a draught of your report to ensure that it flows properly and that no important information is missing.
Writing security reports will become second nature to you as you gain experience. You might even discover that you enjoy telling the story of the incident you witnessed.
The importance of a good security report
A security report does more than just record a noteworthy incident. A security report can be given to law enforcement when they are investigating a case, or it can be used in court if the suspect is charged.
As a result, it is critical to submit a factual, detailed, and well-written security report on time. The words you write may have a profound impact on the lives of those involved, so it is critical that you conduct thorough research, speak with all parties involved, and include as much detail as possible in your report.
Filing Security Reports
A good filing system for storing security reports is just as important as writing them. This way, you can access a required report at any time.
You can organise them electronically or in a file cabinet, but do so in such a way that you or someone at the company can easily refer to any report you require in the future.