In these current times, the act of Due Diligence is of the utmost importance, not only in terms of “know your client”, but to also know what your client wants and what do they want it for?
Insight Investigations are bound to the Code of Ethics of its membership of The World Association of Professional Investigators which states:
- Conduct all investigations and allied matters with integrity and within Legal and Moral guidelines
- Require a client undertaking that all information provided is for lawful use only
- Require that all employees and others, assisting an investigation, abide by the same Code of Ethics
With the rise in demand for private investigation services, the ethical questions involved are becoming more of a talking point than ever before. We are not talking about the ethics involved in the practice of Private Investigation, but more the risks in providing such a service to so many of whom very little is known in a modern environment and where face to face contact with a client is not as necessary as it once was.
It can also be said that with the current restrictions we are all forced to live under due to COVID-19, conducting due diligence in your business or private affairs is even more vital as fraudsters play siege to your hard earned income, by playing on emotions or offering a deal too good to turn down.
As we head towards another national lockdown, the trends we saw in the increase of certain investigation enquiries from clients will no doubt happen again.
It falls to responsible Private Investigation Agencies to ask sufficient questions of a prospective client to be able to satisfy themselves, as best as they can, to confirm who they are dealing with. At Insight Investigations, our experienced investigators are alert to requests that we receive and will ask for further clarity on any point in the request of our services in an attempt to safeguard all involved.
The Independent reported an incident in 2014 in which an investigation firm had fanned the flames of marital discontent and provided information to an unstable client who then used that information as a reason for murdering his wife.
Only as recently as last week, we were not 100% convinced about a client’s motives and intentions towards an old friend they had asked us to locate, stating that they wished to bestow a substantial gift to them. Following due diligence enquiries, it was established that this was the case and subsequently, at our request, a respected firm of lawyers were instructed and received a large sum of money to pass on to the subject of our enquiry. We were more than happy to assist, thereby resulting in a happy client and recipient of the gift. Ours was not to question the motives, but to assist our client in facilitating his wishes with the safety of the subject uppermost. In effect, job done legally, morally and correctly.
So, how do responsible Private Investigation Agencies seek to ensure that their service won’t be abused by prospective clients who have less than honest intentions at heart? Whilst you can’t always avoid the drama that unfolds quite naturally from an investigation into marital infidelity which can lead to life changing decisions, you can however be honest with your client and give them counsel when required, which has been gained over many years of experience in dealing with such matters.
It is the other forms of enquiry that require healthy due diligence, the trace enquiry, the background enquiry and similar where we are supplying to the client information about an individual that previously wasn’t known.
It is the responsibility of professional Private Investigators to ensure that their clients have full understanding of the situation of which they are to become involved and the due diligence that will take place if required. The investigator should remain vigilant to their client’s needs and possible actions thereafter and should always be prepared to discuss the findings of an investigation in detail with the client.
Fortunately, such incidents as have been mentioned here are rare and we at Insight follow strict self-regulatory guidelines to ensure that they stay that way.
The lack of regulation for the profession of Private Investigation here in the UK means that Investigators lacking in morals and scruples still haunt this business and despite our best efforts to obtain legislation, this is not yet in place. We suggest you exercise your own due diligence when choosing an Investigation Agency and to search as you would any other professional service, with great care. You can review why clients choose us here.