It seems like an eternity since the issue of licensing private investigators first came to light many years ago. After much consideration and deliberation in 2001 it was decided that The Security Industry Act would not be responsible for the private investigator industry.
As we all know only too well, leaving the industry un-governed for many years has virtually allowed anybody to act as a private investigator with no real skill, experience or training. This has caused many problems, not least a major element of rogue operatives offering and implementing illegal services simply for short-term financial gain.
The last 12 months of phone hacking revelations and the ongoing Levenson Inquiry into these underhand activities has provided a daily case for the industry to be regulated in the right way ASAP.
Finally, it seems that the Government are not prepared to just allow the continuation of illegal activities. This has been highlighted with the ongoing inquiry and also the jailing of private investigators recently.
This past few weeks has seen steps directly involving industry representatives and association bodies such as WAPI and respected members of experienced PI firms, such as Insight. We posted content early today about a meeting with Lynne Featherstone of The Home Office where our Director, Tony Smith was in attendance to give his views on licensing.
With every meeting such as this it seems that positive steps and actions from the top are being taken. We cannot stress how important it is to get this right at the first attempt after many years of deliberation; self-regulation would leave the industry open to corruption and our beloved sector could be plunged to new levels of despair and negativity. Being licensed and governed by the Government is the only option to ensure that there is a fair playing field and that rules are not bent in any way.
Hopefully the licensing of the private investigator sector is just around the corner, it has dragged on for many years but it finally seems to be progressing in a forward manner.