Checklist for Reporting Crime to SAPS

Checklist for reporting crime to SAPS

If in the unfortunate event that you are a victim of crime, it is important to report a crime to SAPS. A successful prosecution of criminal cases depends, to a large extent, on the quality, completeness, relevance and accuracy of the statement given by you and taken by the police.

The statement must be taken by a Policemen and he / she will guide you through “Who, what, where, when and the how”. The statement must be written in a chronological order and in a way that a complete picture is painted of what happened, so that the investigating officer can conduct a full investigation, and that the prosecutor has ALL the facts at his/her disposal to successfully prosecute.

Reporting a case is free of charge and all the necessary documentation will be completed by a police official. Here a list of items to help with developing a statement.

Checklist for preparing a written statement:

What happened?

  • Explain what happened in chronological order
  • Detail things that may be unclear to a reader
  • Describe items stolen, weapons used, suspects seen
  • Include Feelings – how did you feel when incident the happened – scared, threatened – why?

Where did the incident happen?

  • Address, location, landmarks, position, direction, slope, etc.
  • Explain reason you were there, what were you doing, what were people with you doing, reason there/purpose, what you were wearing

When did it happen?

  • Date, time of day, how did you know what time it was
  • Information about visibility – weather, lighting

Who was involved (suspect or other affected)?

  • Describe suspect/s
  • How long did you see them, where did you see them, any obstructions to your view, are they known to you and if so how?

Potential Exhibits:

  • Describe important potential exhibits – firearm / knife / vehicle (other transport mode) / clothing / bag / anything else – include the colour, make, brand name, distinguishing marks

Suspect details?

  • Detail gender and approximate age, race – include complexion – light, dark
  • Language spoken, accent if any
  • Height – relate to someone you know or self, Build – heavy, light, thick set, thin, athletic, Hair – curly, straight, short, long, colour, set back
  • Clothing – all including shoes, head gear
  • Facial features – beard, moustache – type – long, short, pencil, lips, nose, ears, eyebrows
  • Distinguishing marks – tattoos, scars, Jewellery, neck chain, earrings, teeth


  • Include full names, residential address, gender, employment and all contact details
  • Explain what witnesses were doing there – how did they come to be a witness?