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  1. #1

    Default Do The Police Have a Duty to Investigate All Reports of Crimes

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Pennsylvania

    Without going into to many details... If you report, what you believe to be a crime, to the police, must they investigate?

    Even if they know the crime took place, with evidence clearly showing that a window was broken and a car missing, must they investigate it?

    What are the rules on when they must file a report and when they must investigate?

    Is there a law, or a Supreme Court ruling, that says the police must "Investigate and Arrest"?

    Thank You.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Police's Responsibility to Investigate a Crime

    There's no obligation that the police investigate or even the state prosecute something. If you don't believe the police have acted appropriately, you can make a complaint to whatever oversight their department. What he have is a bunch of lawsuits saying that failure to prosecute every crime is not actionable (public duty doctrine).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Police's Responsibility to Investigate a Crime

    If you report, what you believe to be a crime, to the police, must they investigate? No

    Even if they know the crime took place, with evidence clearly showing that a window was broken and a car missing, must they investigate it?
    No

    What are the rules on when they must file a report and when they must investigate? There aren't any

    Is there a law, or a Supreme Court ruling, that says the police must "Investigate and Arrest"?
    No

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Police's Responsibility to Investigate a Crime

    Quote Quoting Tom_E_Reynolds
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    ...If you report, what you believe to be a crime...
    It may not be a crime despite what you believe. Or it may be so minor as to not even warrant an investigation.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Police's Responsibility to Investigate a Crime

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    What are the rules on when they must file a report and when they must investigate? There aren't any
    There likely are policies within the department that address the issue; but those aren't generally available to the public.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Police's Responsibility to Investigate a Crime

    Agreed. But he's not looking for policies - he's looking for laws that will force them to investigate whether they want to or not.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Police's Responsibility to Investigate a Crime

    Thank you for the replies.

    My friend had an old, not running, parts car, with no reg, taken\moved from its garage on his grandmothers farm in a barn. Its complicated, as family members (with grand-moms permission) have started liquidating grand mom's assets, but no one is owning up to selling\junking the car. He tried calling the local police, but without reg or even proof of ownership (lost title)... they were not going to help him.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Do The Police Have a Duty to Investigate All Reports of Crimes

    Quote Quoting Tom_E_Reynolds
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    Is there a law, or a Supreme Court ruling, that says the police must "Investigate and Arrest"?
    No. If anything the pendulum has swung the other way.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren...ct_of_Columbia

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Police's Responsibility to Investigate a Crime

    Quote Quoting Tom_E_Reynolds
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    Thank you for the replies.

    My friend had an old, not running, parts car, with no reg, taken\moved from its garage on his grandmothers farm in a barn. Its complicated, as family members (with grand-moms permission) have started liquidating grand mom's assets, but no one is owning up to selling\junking the car. He tried calling the local police, but without reg or even proof of ownership (lost title)... they were not going to help him.
    You should have told us that from the getgo. The police won't help him because there has been no crime.

    If grandma or grandpa ever had title to the car, it's a no-brainer to get a duplicate from the DMV and then sell it or give to a junk yard. Who know, there may even be junk yards that might take it without a title.

    If nobody wants to do anything about it, then it gets to sit there until there is no longer any choice and then somebody will have to address it, like if the property gets sold or inherited.

    If it's your friend that now has possession of the junker at his own residence, then he should be looking up the laws for claiming or disposing of abandoned or junk vehicles.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Police's Responsibility to Investigate a Crime

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    You should have told us that from the getgo. The police won't help him because there has been no crime.

    If grandma or grandpa ever had title to the car, it's a no-brainer to get a duplicate from the DMV and then sell it or give to a junk yard. Who know, there may even be junk yards that might take it without a title.

    If nobody wants to do anything about it, then it gets to sit there until there is no longer any choice and then somebody will have to address it, like if the property gets sold or inherited.

    If it's your friend that now has possession of the junker at his own residence, then he should be looking up the laws for claiming or disposing of abandoned or junk vehicles.
    adjusterjack, I believe the issue is that the friend left (read: abandoned) the vehicle at grandma's place. She died, so family members are trying to clean up the mess. The car was disposed of, but no one will say by whom.

    Nonetheless, like others have already said, sounds like a civil, not criminal matter.

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