The True PI

The last 12 months has seen the reputation of the private investigation industry come under scrutiny.

Quite rightly there have been concerns over the lack of regulation in Britain for private detectives. There is a perception by the public and claims by others that 90% of all private investigators are up to no good: ‘bugging, hacking and bribery happening as a matter of course’.

I agree its not right for any member of the public to buy a pair of binoculars, a listening device, design a website and set themselves up as a private eye with no prior experience. This is why I want to put the record straight for all those investigators out there who have genuine experience and expertise in their field, who do reject unethical jobs.

In most cases private investigators come from a policing background (CID), have great qualifications for the job and operate with good integrity and moral judgement.

Ironically some of the cases being referred to the private investigation industry are those that police forces are happy to pass on. Mainly this is due to legal wrangling’s and admin they have to endure to set up a surveillance job. Using a private investigator is often a cheaper and easier solution.

Victims of crime often contact PI’s as the police have filed their cases early due to lack of resources to solve them. For example small corporate fraud cases and missing persons are low priority for police forces, and the client will often feel they have no where else to turn.

The life of a PI is secretive by its very nature, but let’s not speculate and sensationalise what it is they do. Private investigators are genuinely there to do a job that no one else wants to do or has the time and skills to do. It is members of the public who contact them to help deal with sensitive or life changing cases.

Members of the industry should embrace the fact that well needed change is afoot with the new licensing laws. Those that are professionals in this field will now be protected from the onslaught of negativity and equally those that are up to no good working outside of the guidelines will be pushed out of the industry.

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