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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Every operational incident reported to the police is 'logged' on a computer as a unique record of that event.

Details of the incident, the victim/caller and relevant address are entered in the first instance along with the time and date. A unique number is created which is often given to people so that, if they ring up, the call handler can quickly find the log.

As the incident progresses fresh entries are made at each stage - officer attending, people taken to hospital, descriptions of persons wanted etc. along with the time and date.

The log is usually closed when the police presence at the scene has ended and the matter has been concluded or carried forward as a crime/road accident report (or one or several other type of reports depending on the incident).

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.