One of the many roles of a private investigator is the role of ‘evidence gatherer’. Whether private investigators are chasing debtors, surveying employees or tracking missing people, in the course of their work they’ll be collecting evidence that can be used informally or might be provided more formally for use during a court case.
Evidence can be gathered from a wide variety of sources and can come in many forms, from photographs to witness statements, but thanks to modern technology there are even more avenues open for evidence collection.
Currently in Canada, a court case is taking place that is using recorded data from a Fitbit activity tracker, worn by the user to track steps taken and overall activity levels. The Fitbit history will used for a personal injury claim, to decide whether or not the injured party is still being affected by her injuries.
Traditionally, private investigators in Preston and elsewhere have collected written and photographic evidence. As individuals increase their use of technology, they’re allowing more and more data to be collected. When you use the Internet, you’re leaving a record of websites that you’ve visited. Your PC’s contents can be used as evidence in court, as can the aforementioned activity trackers alongside games consoles, mobile phones and even your credit and debit cards. As technology advances, more and more of your behaviours can be tracked, monitored and used against you or in your favour. Dashboard cameras, used by drivers, are also being used increasingly for insurance claims and for proving fault when there’s an accident.
What we can use as evidence is continuously changing, but it’s currently the case in Canada that nobody can be forced to wear or use anything that will track their behaviour. Should they already be using a tracker of some description, a court order can be requested for the individual to release that data.
As private investigators we gather evidence with discretion, within the limits of the law. Should you require a private investigator to provide surveillance services or to gather evidence, you can call on 01772 334 700.