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Tony Smith (Private Investigator)

Tony Smith is one of the Directors of Operations at Insight Investigations and oversees the day to day work of over 20 investigators operating throughout the UK, Europe and around the world for Insight clients.

Tony Smith

Tony Smith, Private Investigator

Originating from Liverpool, Tony Smith has now been a professional Investigator for over 35 years. Tony had a multitude of jobs after leaving school, including spells as a Bus Conductor, Shipping Clerk, Department Store Salesman and eventually working up to Assistant Manager in a Jewelers/Watchmakers.  Seeking change Tony started work as a Private Investigator in 1978, a job which he say’s   “sounded interesting” at the time. . After three years working for a Liverpool Private Investigation Agency in October 1981 he took the opportunity, opening his own Investigative Agency, initially working from home. Finding a job that was never boring the firm grew and Tony opened offices in Liverpool City Centre.  He eventually moved his operations base to offices close to Aintree Racecourse and successfully traded from there for many years.

Tony is also a British Mensa 99 Percentile, a member of Intertel and the Horserace Writers Association,

Tony also served in the 4th (Volunteer) Battalion The Parachute Regiment (A. Coy 4 Para) based at Grace Road Barracks in Walton Liverpool.

Interestingly (and amusingly) one of Tony’s claims to fame is that he was the first person to hitch-hike through the second Mersey Tunnel (the Kingsway Tunnel) on the day it opened in 1971. Additionally he had a piece of artwork exhibited in both The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and Goldsmiths Hall in London, as part of a nationwide competition to design a piece of silverware to be awarded to the winner of the Topham Trophy held annually at the Aintree Grand National Meeting. He was shortlisted to the final 20.

After many years of running his own Investigation Agency in Liverpool, travelling the world for clients to bring investigations to a successful conclusion, Tony decided he wanted to grow a more diverse client base and specialise in his skills by joining forces with a national investigation agency.  Tony joined Insight in 2005, and became director of operations in 2009.

Tony now enjoys the diversity of enquiries undertaken by Insight, and looks forward to the future of the investigation profession in the UK with the onset of licensing.

In 2015 Tony was honoured with an award given to him for his “Outstanding achgeivement to the profession”. See here for more details.


In September 1986 Tony was a founder member of the Merseyside Association of Investigators & Process Servers (now the British Association of Investigators & Process Servers) and remained Secretary/Treasurer of the Association until 2001, becoming an Honorary Life Member in 2009. The Association was formed to deal with local problems being experienced by members initially, but membership increase to a nationwide level. In 2003 Tony joined the World Association of Professional Investigators (WAPI) in 2002 and was appointed to their Governing Council in 2004. Tony moderates the WAPI Open E-Group with well over 1000 international members, and which is now the second largest Industry E-Group in the World. Tony became Vice-Chairman of The World Association of Professional Investigators in 2010. in 2018 Tony became the Chairman of The World Association of professional Investigators.

Tony was the UK/Europe  member of the International Missing Children Organisation,  “MissingKin” and “For the Kids”, a Group of Investigators worldwide that investigated and assisted Law Enforcement pro bono with the location of abducted children. Tony personally assisted in the location and successful recovery of two such abducted Children from the USA who where located in Goa, India.

Tony is an Honorary Deputy of Harris County Sheriff’s Office Texas USA, the third largest Sheriff’s Office in the United States.


Tony has long campaigned for the licencing of the Private Detective Industry and was invited to speak before the Leveson Inquiry in 2012 on this matter. A recent announcement by Home Secretary Theresa May in July 2013 has committed the Government to introducing legislation to enforce this by 2014. Tony is currently campaigning to ensure that this legislation is both effective and enforceable.

Tony has attended several courses in Internet Investigation realising very early on the problems that misuse of the Internet can bring to clients ranging from cyber stalking to email tracing.

Tony’s belief for a solid foundation for any good investigator is knowledge, tenacity, and the ability to think outside the box, together with expanding their skill set with ongoing training both on legal issues and advancement of technology surrounding investigation.

TV & Press

Tony is regularly asked to contribute to television and radio programs due to his extensive experience as a private investigator on both UK and international assignments.  Additionally Tony was the inspiration behind the hit BBC TV series “Nice Guy Eddie” featuring Ricky Tomlinson, and was engaged as a Script Consultant from 1999 to 2002 on the show.

Tony is regularly interviewed by BBC, ITV and independent news channels whenever they require an expert opinion on the Private Investigation industry.

Tony wrote weekly articles on Horseracing but eventually focusing on the Grand National and also makes regular contributions to the Huffington Post, mostly about the Private Investigation industry.

Tony Smith and Insight Investigations have also been frequently mentioned in newspaper articles across various sources including the Guardian, the Huffington Post, WAPI, BBC News  and The Independent. Insight Investigations also featured in Channel 4’s highly charged documentary  “Living With My Stalker”, as they were the private investigators who assisted the family.

Visit for more media coverage.


Tony’s other specialist skill is building and restoring classic cycles. He finds this hobby helps him to focus his mind in his downtime, after working long days on many diverse and complicated cases.