ANYONE can make a police report at any time and on any day. However, a police report should normally be made at a police station or base though at times a report may also be made at the federal police headquarters at Bukit Aman or at the various contingent and district headquarters and mobile police units.
In an emergency, a telephone call may be made to the police whereby the personnel on duty will make a report based on the information received.
Once a report is made, a number is allotted to it.
A complainant should, however, note that save for traffic cases, the name of a station will always precede the number in that it signifies the station area in which the incident occurred.
For example, if a person were to report an incident that happened in Sea Park at the Damansara police station, the report number will begin with Sea Park, followed by the number allotted.
It is pertinent for a complainant to remember the report number for further correspondence or follow-up action.
A complainant may buy a copy of his report by paying the prescribed fee.
In a traffic case, the number allotted to a report does not have to begin with the station name, as traffic matters have a separate classification. For this class of report, the case will be referred to the investigation officer (IO) or assistant investigation officer (AIO) on duty.
After a report (other than those involving traffic matters) has been lodged, the police will classify it based on the content. The various classifications used are:
No offence disclosed (NOD)
No further action (NFA)
Refer to Magistrate (RTM)
Seizable case / Non-seizable case
Missing Persons
Fire Report
Sudden Death Report
Refer to other Agencies
An example of a case where “no offence is disclosed” is a report of an important personal document being misplaced. It is often the requirement of the authority issuing the document for a police report to be lodged before a replacement is made. Therefore, the owner of that particular document has to comply with the procedure to acquire a replacement.
As for “no further action”, a report may pertain to a crime so trivial that it does not merit action to be taken.
Furthermore, there have been instances where not only is the injury or loss negligible but also the offender is not known, rendering investigation an act in futility.
For a report which reveals a crime has been committed, it is necessary for the police to determine whether the case is a seizable offence or a non-seizable offence. Under the Criminal Procedure Code, a seizable offence is defined as an offence in which a police officer may ordinarily arrest without warrant whereas a non-seizable offence is one in which a police officer may not do so.
According to present practice, a case classified as a non-seizable offence may be referred to a magistrate whereby there will be no investigation by the police.
The police will issue a slip to the complainant for him to see the magistrate to relate the matter for the necessary action to be taken.
If, however, the police decide to investigate the matter that discloses a non-seizable offence, they have to obtain an order to investigate from the Public Prosecutor or Deputy Public Prosecutor before investigation commences.
In this respect, there are special powers of investigation that can only be exercised after the order to investigate has been obtained.
This however, does not mean that the police cannot carry out other aspects of enquiring into the case.
The special powers of investigation can only be exercised by a police officer of the rank of sergeant and above or officer-in-charge of a station.
This include the calling of witnesses, recording of statements, carrying out searches and applying for the remand of suspects.
As far as arrest is concerned, it can only be carried out with a warrant. However, the making of arrests and remand of prisoners are not normally carried out for non-seizable offences unless the situation warrants them.
An example of a non-seizable offence is the causing of hurt under section 323 of the Penal Code; there are times when a complainant of such an offence questions the rationale of the police in not taking immediate action to investigate or apprehend the alleged offender.
In the case of a seizable offence being reported, a police officer with the rank of sergeant and above or an officer-in-charge of a station may exercise all the special powers of investigation and arrest of the suspects without warrant.
Normally, a complainant will be referred to an investigation officer with the rank of inspector or an assistant investigation officer with the rank of sergeant after a report has been lodged.
Though a missing persons report does not pertain to the commission of a crime, nevertheless the police do carry out investigations.
A “fire report” per se also does not constitute a crime but will be investigated to ascertain the cause of the fire so that the element of arson can be discounted.
When a person dies under suspicious conditions, the report is classified as “sudden death” for investigations to commence. As for matters relating to other agencies, the reports concerned will be referred to the relevant authorities for further action.
For more information, please refer to the Royal Malaysian Police website.