The usage of private investigators has been increasing in the last decade. People losing trust in government and its departments have resorted to trusting more in PIs and their methods. With the government funding to policing at its lowest in the past decade, PIs have become a new beacon of hope for people looking forward to solving their mysteries. Be it a missing or lost family member, an unresponsive debtor, or a witness who needs to testify to a court, PIs are what you need to go with.
However, due to misplaced media portrayal and pop culture, the work of PIs has been severely exaggerated in the minds of a common man. While not being part of any government legalised law enforcement agency, PIs work separately and operate under a certain set of laws. The Data Protection Act protects the privacy of individuals and their right to maintain their personal space and secrecy unless ordered by the court. This means that PIs are normal public citizens, and can only operate legally under the limits that any normal citizen would have. However, PIs are particularly trained at their work and can find loopholes to divert obstacles in their pursuit of information. They have also been trained to look at information differently, and may be able to pinpoint small details that an inexperienced person would find useless.
What Do Private Investigators Do?
Much different to their portrayal on TV, PIs work within a set of rules that have been allowed to them. Working through any means that the Data Protection Act does not allow is illegal and unethical. However, despite the limitations, PIs can provide services that are very valuable and can help you a lot.
Finding Missing Persons
If a person goes into hiding, or has been missing without contact for a while now, PIs can legally conduct searches for these people. However, to find a missing person, the concerned family or next of kin has to report them missing in order for the PIs to legally conduct searches for them. Sometimes family members have lost contact with a missing person and don’t entirely know if they’re actually missing or just out of contact. In these cases, PIs can be hired to find out if the family member is actually missing or simply out of touch.
Finding missing persons can also concern corporate entities. Companies who may be looking for past employees, directors or founders who may have left without clearing outstanding payments or debts, and have now gone out of contact. This entices corporate companies to hire PIs to locate such people and bring them to justice.
Child Support Cases
In cases of divorce and separation, it often happens that one parent loses custody of the children, and in some cases, the right to meet them as well. This is when that parent can hire a PI to conduct surveillance on their ex-spouse and find out their activities, in order to justify that they are not or may be able to raise a child single-handedly. The safety of the child can also be brought into question in case that the other parent is unhappy or does not qualify to provide the right needs of the children.
Completion of Background Checks
Hiring new employees is always a risk for companies. The safety and sanctity of corporations is a respected virtue that must be protected at all costs. This is why companies always hire employees that are trustworthy, do not have a criminal record, have balanced bank records and do not have a history of bad temper or anger management issues with previous employers. This is why it has become increasingly common for companies and corporations to hire a private investigator to conduct proper and complete background checks on their employees.
Companies that are working on private and secret government contracts also hire PIs to keep a regular check on their employees. This is done because in matters of government secrets, it is of high importance that employees do not indulge in leaking information, which is treason.
While the media and TV portrayal of PIs has been overly exaggerated, their services, though limited, are still vital to the survival of a huge factor of society’s norms.