ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Easy Steps to writing a Great Security Report

Updated on May 14, 2013
Source

We have all, in some way or another run into a security guard in or daily lives. Some are friendly and some maybe not so much so. Maybe you yourself have been one or have considered becoming one?

Do you ever wonder what it is exactly these men and women do? One very important function, if not the most enjoyable is to write reports. There are two main types of reports, one which is a daily occurrence log which will closely mirror the guards memo book notes and the second which we will discuss here which is the incident report.

There will be variations from private company to private company and from site to site in some of the specifics of the report writing system in place, but there will always be some elements that remain consistent. If you can grasp these five key elements you will be well on your way to writing your own great reports, or at least knowing what those security guards are getting up to when they aren't giving you a hard time!

What is a Security Report?

A security report, in the simplest terms is a factual retelling of an incident, event or observation.

The purpose of the report is so that it is possible to access details of an occurrence long after memories have faded. This can be useful for issues as serious as court cases and insurance claims or to simply provide information which can contribute to improving the policies or procedures on a site.

Let's take a look now at the five steps involved in making a great report!

1. It is a security report, not a security diary

This means that you should never personalize the report and write in the first person. You should write in the third person and refer to yourself by name, or if you have established your name and that you are the writer you may refer to yourself as 'the writer'.

To show how that might look,

"While on routine patrol the writer, Security Guard (S/G) Joe Blow discovered that..."

From this point on the report may refer to security guard Joe Blow as 'The writer' and not have to write out his entire name each time.

It can be a bit tricky for some writing in the third person but you'll get used to it!


2. Who, What, When, Where ,Why and How?

Sometimes, especially if a complicated and very dynamic event has occurred it can be a little intimidating trying to figure what to write or even where to start.

In every instance it is best to remember that you will be trying to answer the following questions.

WHO: Who were the people involved. Did you get all their information?

WHAT: What were the actions and events that took place during the incident?

When: What was the date and time the incident took place?

Where: What is the specific location(s) where the incident took place?

Why: Describe and explain the purpose of your own actions as it pertains to the incident. Subject persons may also volunteer motivations for their actions.

How: The vandal broke a window, but did she do it with a rock, or a stick, with her fist?

3. Paint a Clear Picture.

If you answered all the questions in #2 you are well on your way, but there are still a few things to be mindful of.

  • Not everyone who reads the report will be from the world of security, so write the report in plain language and avoid security jargon.
  • An acronym or abbreviation may be used only if it's meaning has first been established. You will see that this has been done for 'security guard' and 'S/G' in #1.
  • Avoid slang unless it is a direct quote from a subject person.
  • Proper grammar, punctuation and syntax all count and not only make your report easier to understand, it makes it more credible to the reader.
  • Resist the urge to be poetic or erudite.
  • Include as much detail as possible and remember you can't assume the reader will know any of the details unless you describe them.
  • Include photographs, or failing that sketches. A picture tells a thousand words,after all.

4. Be Objective

While it is virtually impossible to be a 100% neutral observer in what are sometimes very emotionally charged events, every effort must be made to remain objective.

This means reporting the facts of your observations and not inserting your opinions and biases. To keep your opinion out is not so hard a task, but to keep out your personal biases can be a little trickier and maybe harder for you to see for yourself that you are doing it in the first place.

You might be tempted to make it clear in a situation who you think was in the wrong by how you word your report, but most readers will be savvy enough to detect this and while it may be well intentioned it could very well backfire.

Res Ipso Facto.





5.Get lots of information!

The more information you can provide the better your report will be. This does not mean to go on for pages and pages of descriptive prose, but rather that a person who is reading your report who wasn't present at the time it occurred will only know as much about that event as is written in the report. Be concise but also information rich. Think back to #2, and if you are pretty sure you have done a thorough job of answering all of those questions you should do just fine.

Also, it must be stressed that as uncomfortable as it can feel when asking your report will be much stronger if you verify as much of the information as possible in regards to the persons involved. There is a difference between knowing someone is Joe Smith because they told you so, and knowing it because you have seen their passport or driver's license.

That's it!

There you go. This guide wont make you an expert as you will need years of experience in the field and to be able to develop your professional observation skills and ability to retain and relay information, but it will provide you with a solid foundation and have you well on your way to writing reports that make you look like a pro!

More Security related articles?

Should there be more articles about the skills needed for Security Guard work?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)