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Giving the Police a good description

You and your neighbours can help Police by providing a good description of anyone you see acting suspiciously or committing a crime.

If you see someone acting suspiciously write down what you see as soon as possible. Make a note of the most obvious features by which this person can be identified.

If you do see a crime being committed, dial 111 immediately and ask for Police. Keep calm, give your name, address and telephone number. Report where and what is happening. Stay on the phone and, if you can safely, keep watching and write down any further description.

It's important to try and build up a complete picture of a person from head to toe.

Write down the following details on this form or a separate piece of paper:

  • Male or female
  • Age group
  • Race (Pakeha, Pacific, Mäori, Asian)
  • Height (compare height against some fixed object if possible)
  • Body type ( thin, medium, muscular, fat)
  • Hair cut (long, curly, short, shaved, balding)
  • Hair colour (fair, black, brown, red, grey)

Clothing can be distinguishing and helpful in providing a good description. Things to look for are:

  • headwear (cap, beanie, balaclava),
  • tops (distinctive logos, colours and styles)
  • pants (shorts, jeans, colour)
  • footwear (shoes, boots, sandals, barefooted),

If you have the opportunity to observe the person in detail look for:

  • Facial features (shape of face, including mouth, nose, chin)
  • Facial hair (moustache, full beard, goatee beard)
  • Eye colour (black, blue, green, hazel, grey, brown)
  • Glasses (reading glasses or sunglasses)
  • Tattoos
  • Jewellery, face studs & piercing

Were they carrying anything e.g. a weapon? Were they smoking? Were there any other characteristics of note about the person? If you heard them speak, did they have an accent or speech impediment? What did they say?

If a vehicle is involved, write down the registration number, colour, make and model. Observe if it was damaged or rusty. Did it have any writing on it? Which way did it leave the area?

Also remember to keep a record of the time and date of your observations. These details can be very useful when giving a statement to Police and can help piece together the chain of events.

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