In the wake of four private investigators being jailed on Monday for carrying out a numbers of blagging offences, it must surely now be the wake up call that many rogue private investigators need to stop them from offering and implementing illegal techniques to obtain results.
This element of investigators have been operating within the profession for many years without penalty and it is not before time that tough policing and indeed jail sentences were handed out for any activities that are now being deemed as fraud as opposed to being classed as data protection offences.
After a year of revelations and illegal activities involving investigators and leading newspapers, it is perhaps a time to look now at the positive movements now being taken and implemented by the Government, general public and courts of law to stamp out “blagging” and hacking instances. Obviously nobody can condone the methods used by the News of The World to hack into voicemails of murder victims, celebrities and National Police Computers but at least the result has been harsh action for those committing the offences.
The next step surely has to be regulation. Our director Tony Smith, alongside other leading private investigators who represent sector associations, have given evidence in the public enquiry to support the call for our proud profession to be regulated as soon as possible. As with the jail sentences and punishments for illegal methods, the ability to operate without training, with no license or regulation has gone on for may years; again the events over the past year should help to cement the need for regulation or at least get the ball rolling.
What is certain is that any private investigator who continues to offer illegal services for financial gain, runs the risk of imprisonment, expulsion from industry associations and hopefully in the future have their trading rights and licenses removed in the PI industry.
The message is crystal clear; rogue private investigators must tow the line!