Over the past 12 months, the private investigator industry has come under the spotlight and increased scrutiny due to the widely publicised News of The World celebrity phone hacking scandal. This incident has provoked an ongoing backlash against such a well-known newspaper and also the private investigator that penetrated and intercepted sensitive, private information over many years via celebrity’s phones.
This type of publicity can be harmful for any industry where there is a major element of trust and sensitivity required between the service provider and the client, be it private or commercial. Knowing that you have instructed an experienced, genuine and most importantly legitimate private detective agency to carry out your investigation is vital.
Imagine facing the backlash legally if the information has been gathered illegally because you have hired a private investigator who will bend the rules and break UK laws to get results, this is completely the wrong approach and could see a client requiring investigation services, be it private or corporate, facing their own legal battle.
It is probably wise to do some background checks and look to build a rapport with any potential private investigator to carry out an investigation on your behalf, so that you can indeed find out if they have the experience, knowledge and play by the rules in order to successfully gather information or vital evidence for the said situation.
Some helpful and immediate advice would be to see how long the detective agency have been trading. If they have only been in business for a few months do they really have the experience or proven track record of results to warrant being hired. A private investigator with over 20 years experience, for example, could surely provide a much deeper history of results and also have the testimonials to back this up.
Another major factor would be to discuss the legal requirements for the required investigation and cross reference this with UK law which is openly available via the internet. If, for example, you needed to carry out a matrimonial investigation, then phone hacking would be highly illegal. Perhaps a simple question such as “can you hack my partner’s phone” will give you a clear and quick answer as to the morals of the private detective in question.
Knowing the type of private investigator you are speaking to in terms of their operation would also be very helpful. It could be that the all singing, all dancing website you are visiting is just a one man band operation that runs from a bedroom. Asking the right questions and researching how many actual staffed offices the detective agency has will also give a very clear indication of their size and also professionalism. It is without doubt anybody needing an investigation carried out would want to deal with a proper company, not just a virtual agency.
In summary, just using some common sense and asking some of the right questions will help establish if you are going to employ the right private investigator for your needs. Researching, calling and discussing your needs or perhaps a face to face meeting with the potential service provider would all be great ideas.