Element 3 – Record Security Information
The security officer needs to record information which will assist his / her employer or the police in relation to any incident during work. An incident is any happening, occurrence, event, experience, hazard, encounter or circumstance which is unusual and relates to your work or any possible offence.
Means available to record information include:
- Completing of incident report forms
- Completing of shift logs
- Electronic or paper-based reporting
- Information management systems
- Hazard or risk notification
- Monitoring software
- Patrol authorities
- Use of databases
- Use of notebooks
- Use of report sheets
As a security officer you need to develop the skills to record these details accurately so that further action may be taken if necessary or as an aid in investigation of a possible offence.
The incidents need to be recorded whilst they are still fresh in your mind, especially if you are required to give evidence about the incident, often many months after the incident. By noting the details down as soon as possible you will have an aid to accurately recall, which will make your evidence much stronger and demonstrate a professional attitude.
You should have an official notebook with numbered pages. When recording an incident follow these guidelines:
- Date, time, place, witnesses
- Detail – what, when, where, how, result
- Your action
- Time and date of incident report
Official notebooks are an invaluable tool for the security officer as they will verify your recall of events and provide extra weight for your evidence. The notebook should have numbered pages and none should ever be taken out. The notebook should only be used for official purposes. If you are recording details of a conversation, for example with an offender you caught “red handed” or even with witnesses, record every detail of the conversation. For example:
I said to the person “. . .
He said “. . .
I said “. .
He said “. . . .
This record of the incident should be made as soon as possible after it has occurred. Your official notebook, when completed, should be kept by you and stored in a secure area for later reference if required. When the notebook is issued by your employer, it remains the property of your employer.
If you do not have your notebook with you at the time of the incident, make a note on another piece of paper and transfer it to your notebook as soon as possible.
Regardless of the size of the facility, report writing is a daily occurrence for every security officer. It is important that you are able to clearly and concisely express yourself in a written report. Reports are written for a variety of reasons and may need to be read by everyone, from the supervisor, the employer, police and even the courts.
Your professional and personal credibility as a security officer is often tied to your report writing skill. It is, therefore, important that the information contained in these reports is accurate and clear, with correct spelling and good grammar.
Many reports are of the fill-the-blank variety, requiring little structure or planning. Reports that follow this format could include; breach notices, alarm response dockets, incident report forms, WHS hazard reports etc. The relevant information is written in to the space provided in response to a prompt for the relevant piece of information.
In most security reports there are six essentials which are common to many reports:
- Who – relates to all the people involved in the event, including your name and involvement, suspects, offenders, witnesses, police, and other security
- What – description of the type of incident
- When – not only the time and date of the incident, but includes the time and date of the report and subsequent incidents
- Where – location of the incident or crime primary and secondary scenes
- Why – the motive for the incident, but only involves fact and not opinion, unless the opinion is separately written in as opinion
- How – commences with the reason for your initial involvement and how the incident occurred with a full description of the event that has occurred, generally reported in chronological order
In the report itself, there are three sub-parts, being the:
The introduction is a brief outline of the reason for the report and includes the basics of time, the incident which has prompted the report, and the reason for the report. The body is the detail of the report where it is vital that you report only the facts and not opinion (or at least that you do not mix fact and opinion). It covers initial response, witness reports, interviews, investigation discoveries, names, addresses, and other facts and descriptions. The conclusion outlines the result and follow up, and a brief outline of the essential facts.
When writing the report, make sure the writing is clear (with good expression and preferably typed), accurate, opinion is separated from facts, concise, complete, proofread, spell checked, and prompt (which generally means completed within four days).
Reports in a log can often be so simple, as to be almost overlooked. A log entry is an incident report and a record of who did what, and when. For example, a gate guard may keep a general log of all vehicles with passes entering the site. Pass number, registration number, time of entry and time of exit are all recorded in the log. A separate visitor’s log may be kept or a register of deliveries, etc. It is as important that these documents be as legible and correct as any other report.
A report should never be editorialised. Reports should be objective, which can be very difficult to do. Only specific facts should be given and opinion should only be given if qualified as such and if it is relevant to the report. Statements should always be recorded as such: He said, “I ……”.
On any report there should be no erasures or mutilations. Do not use white out or similar products. If you make an error, it should have a line drawn through it, so as to be still legible and then be initialled. Torn pages, coffee stains and food stains reflect poorly on the professionalism of the report’s author.
Try to remember the six P’s of performance. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Planning of a report will prevent errors and allow a more professional presentation. A tape recorder may come in handy for taking notes during interviews or even on patrol. Spoken notes can be later transferred to log entries or reports, when conditions are more suited to writing.
Sample incident report
|ABC SECURITY SERVICES P/L
PH: 01 555 45451
Nature of the incident:
Lights left on
Door unlocked (location)
Staff on site. Name:________
Signed: John Smith
Client: Mr Whippy Antennas No: 001234
Heater / urn left on
Alarm not armed
Window unlocked (location)
|Enter the following:|
|Name||John Smith||Time on||2230||Time off||0430|
|Residential address||5 Holmes St
Brighton Q 4107
|Day and date||Friday 21/09/13||Day and date||Saturday
|Licence #||CCS40372||Signature||J Smith||Signature||J Smith|
|Incidents – ejections and injuries|
|0345 22/09/13 R/P M 18 blonde, red shirt, blue jeans, I/P asleep in toilet.
N/F, N/I, N/D 007 J. Smith
Sample shift log
|Date||Name||Site||Shift information / incidents||Signature|
Sample accident / incident report form
|Date of incident: _________________ Time: __________ AM / PM
Name of injured person: __________________________
Phone number(s): ___________________________________
Date of birth: _______________ Male / Female
Who was the injured person? Staff / Employee Client Member of public
Type of injury: __________________________________________
Details of incident: __________________________________________________________
Injury requires physician / hospital visit? Yes / No
Name of physician / hospital: __________________________________________
Physician / hospital phone number: _______________________________
Signature of injured party:
__________________________________________ Date: ________________
* No medical attention was desired and / or required.
Return this form to supervisor within 24 hours of incident.
Sample incident statement
|DATE: 30 April 2012 NAME: John Richards
COMPANY: Caesar’s Italian Restaurant & Bar
Statement in the matter of an incident between a female and male patron, on the 29 April 2013.
Statement by John Richards
1. My name is John Richards, I am a crowd controller at Caesar’s Italian Restaurant and Bar, Brisbane Road, Brisbane. My date of birth is 30 April 1990, licence number CCS 000001.
2. At approximately 2225 on Saturday 29 April 2012, I was on duty at the main entrance of Caesar’s when an unknown patron got my attention, and said ‘you better give them a hand’.
3. I looked into the bar area and noticed that David Fraser, one of Caesar’s owners, was removing a patron, a thin male with brown scruffy hair.
4. When I entered the venue I also noticed a dark haired female, of medium build. It appeared to me that she was attempting to assault the thin brown haired male that David was removing from the venue.
5. I then assisted in the removal of the male and female in question. Once the two parties were outside the venue, a bald male approached and stated he was a friend of the male and female in question, and that he would look after them.
6. David and I separated the male and female in question, and moved them away from the main entry of the venue, down towards the esplanade, about 20mtrs away from the venue.
7. It was at this point I noticed that the aggression had changed from the female trying to assault the male, to the male trying to assault the female. We separated the male and female, trying to take control of the situation, so they would not assault each other.
8. David and I had separated the male and female once again, and it appeared that they were calming down. The female stated she had lost her phone, so I walked back to the main entrance to find it, when an unknown female patron handed me a mobile phone and bracelet.
9. I gave the items to David and he returned them to the female that we had removed. At that point all had calmed down between the female and the male, so I returned to my duties at the front entrance of the venue.
10. I looked to see where David was, and noticed that the male was trying to assault the female again, and David was in-between them. I looked away for a moment, trying to get the attention of one of the other crowd controllers on duty to give us some extra assistance. I then looked back towards David and noticed the thin male with brown hair was on his hands and knees on the ground, still trying to assault the female, who was now trying to help him to his feet.
11. The thin male with brown hair and the female in question moved off down towards the esplanade still arguing with each other.
12. The bald male was now making threats towards David, so I intervened and asked him to move on,and to make sure that his friends get home ok, and try and stop them from assaulting each other.
13. The bald male moved on and I returned to my duties.
This is a true and correct statement to the best of my knowledge, at the time of the statement.
During your security career, you will use a variety of business equipment and technology to present concise information about your daily activities or reporting of incidents. The most common equipment that you could use will be as follows:
- Facsimile machine
- Mobile telephone
- Public address system
- Two-way radio