ONLINE POLICE REPORTS - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Frequently Asked Questions
A General Offense Report is the standard format for initial crime reports that are written up by a police officer responding to an incident. Many of these will be responses to 9-1-1 calls. Others will be on-view incidents, which is an incident an officer sees and responds to, without being called to the scene.
General Offense (GO) Reports in PDF format are available for almost all crimes reported to SPD. These reports are made available within 8 hours after the event is closed. For the major crimes of Burglaries, Robberies, Aggravated Assaults and Homicides, additional information is made available through a redacted full narrative. These reports are available within 5 business days after the event.
Reports on certain crimes, such as sexual assaults and those involving children, are not listed on this site to protect the identity of the victims. Additionally, addresses, victim names and other identifying information have been redacted from all of the reports available online.
If you see information about a crime you were involved in and believe the information is inaccurate - please contact the followup detective in your case and talk to them directly about the information.
If you are upset that a report is online and want it removed entirely, contact SPD Legal Unit at 206-233-5141 to discuss this on a case by case basis.
With the Police Reports Map and 9-1-1 Response Map, SPD is making almost all of our reports available online. The Department attempted to be very thoughtful about what information was released and what was not. These decisions were not made to "hide" types of crimes from the public, instead decisions were made about who to protect.
The only reports that are not being released under this system are when the rights of the victim, age of the victim, possibility of revictimization (either physically or by having the information made public) or overall public safety/security issues take clear precedence over the public right to know.
Information on Rape and other sexual offenses, Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Kidnapping, Suicides, locations that are sensitive (like Domestic Violence shelters), Homeland Security issues and tactical information that might compromise the safety of our officers are not being released in this system.
If the event is one of the many types we do show, but the location code was entered into the system incorrectly, the location of the event cannot then be verified. In this scenario, this particular event will not appear on the map at all, rather than providing possibly misleading information.
Reports take approximately 5 business days to appear online from the time they are reported. Reports are dated by the time the incident took place, unless that is not known.
There are three possible reasons for this.
- The incident may not involve one of the four crime types – Burglaries, Robberies, Aggravated Assaults, and Homicides – being posted online.
- The incident involves one of these four crimes, however, there has not been enough time to prepare it for posting. Please check again a little later.
- Not all incidents will result in a Seattle Police Report being filed. For example, the incident may involve a location that cannot be found or verified.
If you would like to request a report that is not listed here, you may complete and submit a Public Disclosure Request.
If you read an incident report and believe you have knowledge that would help an investigation, please contact the Seattle Police Non-Emergency Number at (206) 625-5011 and provide the General Offense Number located on the top left side of the report.
If you need to remain anonymous, you may contact Crime Stoppers. Mention the General Offense Number and date and time of the incident.
This is called redacting and it is done to protect the privacy of the people involved in the incident.
The Department redacts the names of all victims, all non-involved parties, all juveniles/minors and all suspects unless they have been booked into jail. This is a major reason why it takes time to prepare crime reports for online posting.
Once a suspect has been booked into jail, their name is no longer private. If they were booked into King County Jail you can view suspect information online at the King County Jail Register.
PART I CRIMES: The four crime types currently posted here – Burglaries, Robberies, Aggravated Assaults and Homicides – are among those known as Part I or Major Crimes. These terms refer to seven crimes designated by the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting System as a basis for charting crime trends across the United States. The seven crimes chosen by the FBI as Part I crimes are: homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, which comprise Violent Crimes; and burglary, larceny/theft and vehicle theft, which comprise Property Crimes.
People sometimes confuse the criminal behavior involved in a burglary versus a robbery. They may also not realize there is a difference between aggravated assaults (posted here) and less serious assaults. The official FBI definitions of the crime types posted here are, as follows:
BURGLARY: the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.
ROBBERY: taking or attempting to take anything of value from another person by force, threat or force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS: an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
HOMICIDE: the willful killing of one human being by another. Deaths caused by negligence, suicide or accident and justifiable homicides are not included in this crime category. Murder attempts are classified as aggravated assaults.