Police aim for more accurate crime reports
MANILA, Philippines—Incomplete and error-riddled entries in police blotters may soon be a thing of the past as the Philippine National Police standardizes its template for blotter entries to render recording of information more efficient, fast and accurate.
PNP Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome on Wednesday said he has ordered the formulation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the police blotter “to enhance the delivery of police frontline services and to satisfy the needs and expectations of the citizenry.”
Under the new SOPs, desk officers are instructed on how to enter data in the police blotter, including the “5Ws and one H” detailing the “who, what, when, where and how” of the incident recorded, as well as other pertinent information.
The new procedures further state that the officers must also take down the information of the reporting person, the data of the suspect and the victim, including the name, age and address, as well as the narrative of the incident, and the complainant’s signature.
At present, most police blotters, which are considered public documents, already include the “TDPO” [time, date, place of occurrence], information of the victims and the suspects and the facts of the case.
“These (pieces of) information are vital to facilitate investigations, prepare court cases and support the defense of cases in court,” PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said in a statement.
Cerbo said the new SOP was aimed at eliminating the tedious process that complainants often needed to go through, including several interviews by different officers and investigators before the complaint was recorded.
“The delivery of police service will be more efficient, fast and accurate. This will also help in recording statistical information and identifying community problems in terms of peace and order,” he said.
Bartolome said any violation of the SOPs will be dealt with administratively, and unit commanders whose subordinates fail to comply with the policy shall be included in the investigation.
“Processes and procedures are being strengthened to be able to deliver more responsive police services to continue our commitment to service with initiative,” he said.
Cerbo said the SOPs in the recording of incidents in the blotter would also boost the electronic blotter and the electronic warrant systems, both launched recently to modernize the PNP’s data storage system.
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