Describing a Suspect


To capture a criminal in these highly mobile times, it is of utmost importance for the police to promptly obtain an accurate description. Following are some of the most important identifiers the police need to apprehend criminal suspects. Keep this information in mind so that you can give the police an accurate description of any criminal or criminal incident you may observe.


  • Observe your surroundings and time which crime occurred.
  • Try to remember if suspect carried a weapon and which direction suspect left.
  • If suspect leaves in a vehicle try to see any decoys or marks. Pay attention to the make, model, color and license plate, if possible.

General Description

  • Try to notice basic physical details such as race, sex, age, height, weight and build.
  • Facial information such as hair color, complexion, possible facial hair and eye color and facial features such as nose and chin shape, forehead shape and ears.
  • Notice if suspect has any visible tattoos or birthmarks.
  • Notice clothing and appearance such as if the suspect had a hat on or color of the shirt or jacket, or if clothes were over-sized or small.
  • Pay attention to smaller details such as jewelry they might have on.


  • Pay attention to suspect's voice and speech. Notice if they use slang, or have an accent and over all tone.
  • Listen for sounds and clues that might hint at multiple suspects.
You will never be able to remember all of these details. Remembering as many as possible can be particularly helpful to the Police and to your community.