Private Investigator Licensing

Today it was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May that operating as an unlicensed private detective is to be made illegal as of autumn 2014.

We’ve been shouting about this for years now, and have been continually been talking about the recurring problem in our blog posts:

As it stands in the UK at the moment anyone can currently set themselves up as a private investigator, regardless of qualifications, skills or even criminal convictions. But these new Home Office Plan’s will mean that private investigators must be licensed by the Security Industry Authority after completing a training course and passing a criminality check.

It’s about time to; the private investigation industry has needed this for a long time, with the influx of negative press and rogue private investigators we’ve all been hearing about lately. This should put an end to unprofessional and rogue investigators using illegal and illicit methods to obtain information and remove the undeserved negative stigma attached to the industry.

Mrs May said: “It is vital we have proper regulation of private investigators to ensure rigorous standards in this sector and the respect of individuals’ rights to privacy.

“That is why I am announcing today the government’s intention to regulate this industry, making it a criminal offence to operate as a private investigator without a licence.

“Anyone with a criminal conviction for data protection offences can expect to have their application for a licence refused.”

Firms could be barred from being licensed if they have been involved in offences including:

  • Unlawful interception of communications, such as phone hacking
  • Accessing data on computers without permission
  • Gathering personal details by posing as someone else, such as blagging information from a call centre
  • Bribery

For more information on this read the full post on the BBC website at:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23519690.