How To Find Police Reports Online

If you’re a business owner or private party looking for additional information on a particular individual, it’s likely you’ve looked into obtaining a thorough background check. However, the process of finding a police report on an individual can quickly turn into a much lengthier endeavor if you don’t already know where to look. Furthermore, third party websites can often charge lofty rates per search, and sometimes don’t even provide accurate results! While you could spend an afternoon figuring out which sites are best to find police reports, it’s often better to turn to an experienced private investigator near you who may be able to help.

Find Police Reports Online With The Help Of A Private Investigator

While the basics of many police reports are publically accessible, many are hidden from the public within police databases. Depending on the state, a private investigator may have access to one of these databases – allowing you to circumvent the waiting process if you’re looking for information on an individual that may be involved with an ongoing investigator or case.

Generally, however, most police records are accessible to the general public and accessible through the police department itself. If you’re trying to obtain these records yourself, it’s best to contact the police department to ask about the process they require for the release of certain records. Once you’ve followed their instructions (likely accessible on their website) and possibly submitted a request for public records via email or regular mail, you’ll likely have to submit a valid ID along with payment. Additional paperwork may be required, in the form of signing a disclaimer.

What’s The Difference Between A Police Report and A Background Check?

Before you continue your research, it’s important to understand the difference between a background check and a retrieval of police reports. A Background check will reveal any felony and misdemeanor criminal convictions, while police reports (as stated above) reveal any initial records prior to convictions. Certain states’ background checks will reveal different things, but generally, most relevant information you need will be obtained during a background check. PIs can assist you in this regard as well, although the rate will likely be moderately higher.

Make Your Life Easier: Ask A Private Investigator

As the above process can often take a few days due to the lack of online record viewing, asking a PI near you is often the fastest way to get police records online. A PI will likely be able to access online databases for you, or at least expedite the above process and provide you with a PDF or other online-accessible format for you to view from the comfort of your own home. While not strictly “online viewing” in the form of a website, receiving the records you’ve requested to your computer in a more expedient manner is, ultimately, the desired end result – with the help of a PI, you’ll simply get there faster.

If you’re concerned about the cost of finding police reports online, we recommend viewing our “How Much Does A Private Investigator Cost” article to research the rates you can anticipate from a PI. Obtaining police reports is a routine task for most private investigators, so your case will likely be received and completed much faster than any other method. To find an investigator near you, use our online search tool!

Additional Information on Finding Police Reports Online

Ultimately, there are a variety of ways for you to obtain information on an individual online – some more thorough than others. While certain third-party sites can provide useful results, it’s important to determine how serious you are about investigating an individual. If your case demands accurate, thorough information, it’s probably a better idea to contact a private investigator instead of relying on websites for your research. If you have additional questions, contact us and we’ll amend this article as needed.