In many situations of violence, police are the first on the scene. Their bureaucratic procedures produce substantial documentation, which is particularly strong on circumstances of the incident. Such reports can be made available to casualty recorders in real time through local co-operation with individual offices.
Larger bodies of such reports sometimes become available to casualty recorders, generally some time after the period in question. Wherever police keep records at an incident level and share information with recorders. For police records to be useful bureaucracy must be functioning and the police force must have a presence or reach in areas of conflict. Documents are bureaucratic, procedural, and comprehensive on the events they report. The type of data they were good at providing includes weapon, perpetrator, time and place. First reports by police are also useful for initial numbers of people killed in an incident. Police documents are less useful for seeking more comprehensive information about victim, and final numbers.
THE RANGE OF SOURCES IN CASUALTY RECORDING, p. 7