Private Investigation FAQ

There are a lot of people interested in the services of a private investigator. There are also many who consider it as a career. And, some people just want to know more, having seen the role glamorised in the media.

With that in mind, there’s a lot of searches carried out online for questions related to private investigation. We’ve picked out some of the most frequently asked questions so that we can answer them for you.

What exactly does a private investigator do?

When you think of a private investigator, you’ll probably conjure up images of someone spying on a husband or wife to see if they’re cheating, or potentially tracking down someone who has gone missing.

There’s some truth in this – we do offer both of these services, although we certainly don’t behave in the same way as we’re portrayed on TV or in movies. We have a wide range of methods for tracking people and either finding them, if they’re lost, or identifying if they’re misleading their partner.

But that only scratches the surface on what we do as well. We offer a huge range of services, including investigating injury claims, identifying offenders who might be claiming false benefits or fly tipping, or even gathering evidence for a trial. The scope of our work is huge and we help a lot of people in a number of different ways.

One of our most popular services is process serving. This is where we deliver legal documents to a recipient, by hand, where it is important that they receive them promptly. It might be orders to attend court, or divorce petitions, injunctions and more. We use our skills to make sure we find the recipient, and deliver the documents as they are needed, so that lawyers don’t have to rely on the postal service.

Who uses a private investigator?

Just as our services are diverse, so is our client base. We take a lot of enquiries from the general public. This will usually be for tracing people, or watching a partner to see whether they are cheating. We can also work out if someone is co-habiting with a new partner, which they might not have disclosed to you if they pay you child support, or we may be asked to track a private vehicle, particularly if you’re concerned about an adult child borrowing a car they aren’t supposed to while you’re away.

We also work for corporations. There’s a number of services we provide to many businesses, including monitoring staff to identify fraudulent illnesses or injury claims, tracing people who owe the business money, and carrying out background checks into new, senior employees. We can even debug an office, if you’re concerned about trade secrets.

We specifically carry out a selection of jobs for solicitors, such as process serving, or exploring crime scenes to gather information for criminal defence cases, or to get witness statements. And, we also work with councils, helping them to identify people who are carrying out benefit fraud, or work out who might be the source of regular fly tipping, and even assisting with stores and establishments that may be breaching their licensing agreements.

How do you become a private investigator?

There is no fixed method for becoming a private investigator. There is also no recognised qualification, although discussions around the creation of a legal certification have been ongoing for many years now.

A lot of people who are private investigators in the UK tend to have a background in policing, or have served in the military in some form of surveillance role. However, as we ourselves have proven, that isn’t always necessary. The work of a private investigator does require a certain skillset and a lot of dedication and patience, but there are many ways to learn these skills.

If you’re seriously interested in learning how to be a private investigator as a future career, then you should make sure you have excellent communication skills and are highly literate with technology. Then, consider getting in touch with us – we don’t mind sharing advice if you really want to take it up as a career.

Is being a private investigator dangerous?

The work of a private investigator is rarely dangerous. Most of the work we do doesn’t involve confrontational scenarios, and instead is done with complete discretion. It’s very rare that we need to, or indeed are able to, interact with the subject of our work. Usually we’re recording evidence to pass onto a client, which they will then deal with.

There are some occasions where we may have someone who isn’t happy with the work we’re doing, such as if we’re serving them legal summons to a court case that they don’t want to attend. However, being private investigators, we’re fully aware of our rights and the laws that protect us, and we can usually diffuse any situation quickly by reminding anyone aggressive of the consequences they would face from the law should they act rashly.

What can’t a private investigator do?

There are many things that we’re not permitted to do as private investigators, broadly covered by saying we’re simply not allowed to break the law in the course of our work! However, more specifically, we’re unable to make any arrests, we cannot trespass on private property, and it’s important we don’t let someone know they are being followed and make them feel threatened. Thankfully, we’re able to carry out all of our duties whilst still following these rules.

How much does it cost to hire a private investigator?

Because of the varied work that we do, there is no set price for how much it costs to hire a private investigator. The nature of the work, and the number of hours involved, means that it can vary wildly.

However, we will always make sure we’re as efficient as possible, both in our use of time and in the methods we employ. We won’t go overboard, and will instead keep our costs to a minimum whilst still delivering excellent results so that we don’t have to overcharge you.

If you’d like to know more about our private investigation services, or potentially hire us for a job, call us on 01772 334700.

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