Writing about crime In the first two chapters of this four-chapter section, we looked at the practical aspects of reporting crime. Here we suggest how to write about crime effectively and also avoid some of the pitfalls of poor writing. In the final chapter we will discuss the ethics of crime reporting.
Start with the most important information, such as who was involved in the crime, when and where it occurred, how it was committed and what happened to the offender, victims or property.
Follow up with engaging details, such as unexpected twists, and finish your article with the least important details, such as background information. For example, "Three people were killed and another six people injured after a gunman opened fire at a convenience store on Liberty Avenue.
Use descriptive, specific language and colorful details to describe events surrounding the crime, but remain impartial and rely on facts to support your story.
Crime articles are designed to inform, educate and, in some cases, warn people of criminal activity. Write from the third-person point of view to retain a high degree of objectivity and direct readers to the facts.
For example, "In the Lubeck neighborhood around 9: Local police are searching for a black SUV with tinted windows and Minnesota license plates.
For example, you might use terms such as "assailant," "arson," "embezzlement," "domestic abuse," "larceny," "prostitution," "trespassing," "charged," "witness," "crime scene investigator," "detective," "accessory," "conviction" or "aggravated assault" to clearly explain what happened. Using correct legal terms will help you come across as a professional crime reporter and will ensure that your article contains clear, articulate details.
Learn and use the correct legal terms to describe crimes.
For example, the word "theft" refers simply to stealing, but "robbery" refers to theft with violence or the threat of violence. Reliable Sources and Proper Attribution Get your information from reliable sources, such as police officers, first responders, eyewitnesses and other law enforcement agents at the crime scene.
Trustworthy, authoritative sources add credibility to your story and give readers little reason to doubt your words. For example, you might say, "According to Denver police, the shooting occurred around midnight, and two men were taken into custody," or "Lieutenant Tom Jones from the Tallahassee police department said that the victim survived her injuries and was able to give a physical description of the assailant.A crime scene report should always contain the who, what, when, where and how of an investigation.
It is not possible in most cases to include the reason why a crime was committed, as this is often speculative. An article on how to write crime stories in newspapers, a good read for budding journalists & editors.
How to write crime stories in newspapers – the right ingredients.
Leave a reply. who, what and why related to the crime, giving an indication of the adoption of an ‘inverted pyramid’ style of writing.
A burglary crime report can be very helpful to the police when they complete their own report, and your insurance company may need the report as well.
Of course, the crime report that you write should not replace the official report from the police department. Crime articles are designed to inform, educate and, in some cases, warn people of criminal activity. Write from the third-person point of view to retain a high degree of objectivity and direct readers to the facts.
The information and methods in this article are more fully discussed in John Bowden’s excellent book “Report Writing For Law Enforcement & Corrections.” It is available from the Amazon and.
May 02, · How to Write Crime Stories. Two Parts: Outlining the Plot Writing the Story Community Q&A. Like many authors, crime writers sometimes get an itch to break the conventions of the genre and create something unique.
This is a fine impulse to listen to, but not one you want to take too far%(13).