A security guard often must write a report to document an incident, or simply as a daily log. It is important to write clear a security report, so here are some tips for security guards to follow when writing their reports.
Some people think they should use fancy jargon in security reports – the opposite is true! Use everyday English rather than complicated “police terms.” Lots of different people may read your report (supervisors, police, juries). It needs to be understandable to lots of different types of people, so the less jargon the better.
A nice way to capture the most important details in a security report of an incident, is to remember the 5 W’s:
As you saw from the “WHY” category above, it is important to be objective. Do not give your opinion about who was at fault – it will actually make your security report weaker. You must stick to facts – the things you saw with your eyes, heard with your ears, etc.
If your phone has a camera on it, take as many photos or videos as you can. They provide additional objective information. Some security companies use mobile report form apps like Zenput, which lets you complete an incident report on your smartphone, including photos and videos in the actual report.
Remember lots of people may read the report. Don’t judge anyone in your security report. Don’t use slang or rude words. Once you’ve identified people once in the report, refer to them as “Mr.” or “Ms.” when you mention them again.