New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services: Office of Counter Terrorism
How to describe suspicious behavior
Describing Suspicious Behavior
- WHO did you observe?
- WHAT did you see? Be specific.
- WHERE did you see it?
- WHEN did you see it?
- WHY is it suspicious?
Giving A Description
- Age (approximate)
- Height (use 2" blocks ex. 5'8" or 5'10")
- Weight (approximate, use 10 lb. Blocks ex. 180 lb. or 190 lb.)
- Build (medium, heavy set, thin, etc.)
- Hair (color - light, dark, blonde, and length - bald, short cropped, shoulder length)
- Complexion (light, dark, ruddy, olive)
- Peculiarities (scar, tattoos, missing limbs)
- Clothing (from head to toe, style, defects)
- Weapons (if any)
- Method of escape (direction, vehicle, etc.)
- License Plate (most important)
- Year, make, model & color
- Body type (2 door, 4 door, van, SUV, etc.)
- Passengers (number of people in vehicle)
- Damage or anything unusual (logos, etc.)
- Markings, or anything unusual.
Ways To Improve Observation Skills
- Employ good listening skills
- Do not let personal feelings interfere with the incident
- Look at the entire situation before making a judgment
- Watch for non-verbal communication signs
- Use feedback to obtain and verify information report
- Observe and report - notify your local police!
- DO NOT become personally involved