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Guide to Writing and Concluding a Police Statement

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A police statement or witness statement is a written account of what an individual remembers about an incident. A police statement is typically a formal account provided to the police by an individual who has either witnessed an incident or has information related to a crime.

It is recorded by law enforcement officers during their investigation. This statement is often more formalized and may be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

How to Write a Police Statement

Here are the key components that should be included in a police statement:

  1. Personal Details: Start with your full name, address, and date of birth. You may also need to include your contact information and occupation.
  2. Time and Date: Write down the date and time you made the statement. Also include the date and time of the incident, if you remember them.
  3. Location of the Incident: Describe the site where the incident took place. Include any significant landmarks or features that might help identify them.
  4. Detailed Account of the Incident: Provide a detailed description of what happened. This should be written in the first person and in your own words. It should be explicit, including what you saw, heard, said, and did.
  5. Description of Persons or Objects: If the incident involves other people or objects, describe them in as much detail as possible. For people, this can include gender, age, height, clothing, distinguishing features, etc. It could consist of size, colour, shape, or object markings.
  6. The Sequence of Events: The events should be described in the order they happened. If you need more clarification about the exact sequence, it’s okay to say so. However, exercise caution and avoid offering unnecessary details or speculative information that might cloud the accuracy of your account.
  7. Direct Speech: If you report a conversation, try to recall the exact words. If you can’t remember the same words, clarify that you are paraphrasing.
  8. Closing Statement: Close by stating that the details in the statement are accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief.

End the Police Statement

  1. Closing Sentences: After providing all the pertinent information, state that it is complete to the best of your knowledge and belief. For instance, you could say, “This claim is true to the best of my knowledge and belief, and I make it knowing that if it is tendered in evidence, I may be liable to prosecution if I have included anything in it that I know to be false or do not believe to be true.”
  2. Signature and Date: Leave a space for your signature after your closing sentence. Signing your statement confirms that you stand by the information provided in it. Remember also to include the date you are signing the declaration.
  3. Witness Signature: If required, a police officer or another authorised person will also sign and date the statement to affirm they have received it.

Who Must Give a Police Statement? 

You may be asked to make a statement to the police if:

  • You are a witness to a crime: If you have witnessed a crime, you might be asked to give a statement detailing what you saw, heard, or know. This can assist in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
  • You are the victim of a crime: If you have been a victim, you will likely be asked to state what happened. This is important in helping the police understand the circumstances of the crime.
  • You have been involved in a traffic incident: If you have been involved in a car accident or other traffic-related incident, you may need to state what happened.
  • You have been charged with a crime: If you have been accused, you may choose to make a statement as part of your defence. However, you also have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. You should always seek legal advice in this situation before making a statement.

What Happens When You Make a False Statement to the Police? 

Making a false statement to the police in Australia is a serious offence. The consequences vary by jurisdiction, but they can result in criminal charges.

Under the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), Section 24F, it’s an offence to provide false or misleading information or documents to a Commonwealth entity, like the Australian Federal Police.

This offence can result in a penalty of imprisonment for up to 12 months.

Penalty by State

Similar laws exist in other states and territories. Given the serious consequences, it’s essential always to provide truthful and accurate information when making a statement to the police. If you need clarification on something, consider seeking legal advice such as AVO lawyers.

Guide to Writing and Concluding a Police Statement

At Justice Family Lawyers, we know how critical it is to get your statement right.

With our team of experienced professionals, we can guide you through the process, ensuring your information is as thorough and accurate as possible.

Leave everything to chance when it comes to legal matters. Contact us today for expert advice on ending a police statement and any other legal support you require.

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