You need to beware of rouge private investigators, more now than at any time.
We at Insight Investigations have been alerted to a number of rogue private investigator companies and we have mentioned this in the past. The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has published its contact with the Chair of Committee to provide in-depth information on rogue traders within the Investigative industry.
Whilst tabloid headlines in recent years have basically used the term ‘Private Investigator’ as a catch-all description for seemingly anyone who obtains information or behaves in an illegal manner, the effort and investigation that led to the SOCA report shows they had targeted some legitimate Private Investigators with very good reason.
The correspondence consists of a letter about the background of the 2008 SOCA Report on private investigations, including letters on what actions they had to take to combat threats in the industry, as well as details on individuals who have military or law enforcement experience.
We are well aware that there are corrupt individuals within this Industry and, as SOCA says, the lack of Regulation of it assists that to a great degree. Regulation of Private Investigators is a ‘must’ but the prevarication of subsequent Governments is not getting this matter rectified.
Even after the Leveson enquiry in 2012, the industry still awaits licencing.
The established Professional Associations do what they can, but ejecting someone from an Association following a complaint or conviction for illegal practice is little more than sliding the bolt to the stable door when the horse is halfway down the street.
Eliminating rouge private investigators from professional associations is a good step forwards. All 3 of the UK professional Associations, The World Association of Professional Investigators, The Association of British Investigators and The Institute of Professional Investigators, all have strict rules to entry, and codes of practice that each member must adhere to.
This gives the general public and commerce some safeguards when employing an investigator that is a member of a professional association.
Testimonial and review sites are also another good way for anyone wanting to employ the services of a private investigator, most good investigation agencies have such on-line reviews, rather than just potentially made up words for testimonials on their website.
Further with the onset of the internet, it takes rouge private investigators, little time to set up a fresh website, under a different trading name, and off they go again, reeling in unsuspecting clients. With regulation of the industry, this would be somewhat harder to accomplish.
We at Insight feel that Legislation of Private Investigators should continue to be sought, not in the fragmented self-seeking way it has been but in a joint and viable manner. Such legislation would enable the Associations to limit the amount of bad practice that currently occurs within the profession.
Rogue private investigators have accessed police files, partaken in illegal bugging activity and hacked into various government websites or professional organisations. That is a fact, no matter how unsavoury it may be to the professionals in this profession to admit, that such cases have happened.
SOCA published a marked version of the 2008 report in July 2012, but it is now fully available to the public on their website. The Government Home Affairs office will be in further talks with SOCA to discover any further information on rogue private investigators. In October 2013 SOCA is to be reformed and merged with the new National Crime Agency (NCA). Let’s hope that such talks continue to the benefit of legitimate Investigators nationwide.
In the meantime the public can protect themselves by using Investigative Agencies that have, amongst other things, a physical addresses, landline telephone numbers, trading history, several forms of payment options and not just “pay the money into the bank”.
Private Investigators who are members of the established professional TRADE Associations, not simply those organisations that allude to Private Investigation or have nothing to do with Private Investigation and whom anyone can be a member of.
Insight Investigations stress the importance of abiding by the law. We understand that calling us is a very private matter and every client’s case is treated in the strictest of confidence. We will not partake in any illegal activity. Our professional code of conduct reassures that you can trust and rely upon us to do the job properly. For more on SOCA please visit http://www.soca.gov.uk and to read the SOCA Report on Private Investigators please visit http://www.soca.gov.uk/news/558-further-soca-information-published-on-rogue-private-investigators.