Making reports a bit more fun

Posted on November 17, 2009


Pondering on my last post, I started  to wonder if my reluctance to start writing my reports is due to the fact that the evidential report is such a stylistically castrated medium. Granted, it’s not as restrictive as the MG11 statement’s “I was proceeding down the internet in a northerly direction when I happened upon the suspect, upon a pogo stick, in a state of some arousal” style, but it’s far from inspiring. You do the intro, the continuity, the analysis, the conclusion all in the same thrill-free manner, dry as an air-conditioned sinus and dull as a winter sky over Norwich.

So how about, I thought…how about if I write my next report in a more literary style? Would that really be so bad? Surely anything that keeps the lawyers and jury awake has got to be in the interests of justice? I could try a noir, Raymond Chandler effort:

The day trouble walked into my life started earlier than most days. At 1030 hours on the 22nd of October 2009 I was freshly shaven, sober and wearing clean underpants, and I didn’t care who knew it. I’d just poured myself a coffee with a dash of bourbon and was about to light a cigar when the door flew open and in she walked, preceded by a bow wave of expensive perfume and a bosom that just wouldn’t stop. DC 666 Sarah Jones was a man-eater, and she wanted me to know it.

She put one foot on my desk and blew a thin plume of cigarette smoke over me.

I’ve got the exhibit from the confrontational burglaries in Echo, seized during a Section 8 PACE search.” Her voice was like molasses running down a steep-gradient gravel road to a backwoods honkytonk. I started to speak and she leaned forward and put a finger on my lips, showing me more bosom than I’d seen in a year. “I’ve got the completed form, signed by an inspector, and the exhibit’s in a numerically sealed bag with a signed continuity tag.”

I stood up and walked to the window. She’d got to me already, and I knew she knew it. I signed the label SJ/1, took the form and gruffly told her to go.

Okay, honey. You make sure you call me when the report’s ready, you hear?” She blew me a kiss and sashayed out of the office, leaving behind perfume, the ghost of a promise and one het-up analyst. I booked the exhibit into the system and lodged it in the secure storeroom.

That afternoon at 14:30 hours, I could still feel the pressure of her finger on my lips as I removed the exhibit from the store, broke unique seal D45667778 and opened the bag. The exhibit was a Dell laptop, battered as a rummy’s nose and sporting a Windows Vista sticker like a custody photograph name board (product key and service tag in Appendix A). Pouring myself a new drink, I removed the hard drive and…

You get the idea. Or I could try magical realism!

I was wearing the skin of a panther that afternoon, as I attached the hard drive to a Tableau write-blocker and began to image it with FTK Imager version 2.6. I watched the data move to my workstation, the bits helixing to a prismatic rainbow sheen as the sunlight dappled through the forest canopy. I was reminded of the time a hundred years in the future when I had watched my grandfather image the same disk. I’d been a panther that day, too.

Come to think of it, magical realism has already been done – at least I assume that’s how the lower-end defence analysts keep coming up with the porno pixies that put muck on people’s computers.

How about Lolcat – if it’s good enough for the bible, it’s good enough for my report.

Oh hai!

Ths peedo haz 40,000 imajus. Srsly. He sez ‘Did not want! Ceiling cat done them. I wuz lukin for big kittehs having buttsecks.’ roflmao noob no cheezburger four you bad kitteh! Ur liemwyre srchs tell all your sekrits! too much fap makes kitteh blind. Srsly.


Or haiku? It’d certainly cut down on writing time:

Chat logs in pagefile

He didn’t rob the cash van?

He’s a bloody liar

That’s enough silly reports. For now.

This post was brought to you with the help of Public Enemy, Stiff Little Fingers, The Beastie Boys and Zubrowka vodka.