If you’re interested in a career in private investigation, you might be wondering what the daily life of a PI entails. There’s a lot of myth and mystery surrounding the industry. People who’ve never worked with a PI before tend to be in the dark about what we do. Let’s have a quick look at the everyday things we do to give you a better idea of the world of private investigation.
Helping Private Clients
We work with private clients from all walks of life. We’re often asked to help with some form of cheating partner surveillance, but we can help with all kinds of personal matters. From finding missing people to tracing debtors, we pride ourselves on our people finding skills. Uniquely, PI UK also offer vehicle tracking and polygraph lie detector tests.
When it comes to providing investigation services to members of the public, it’s vital that investigators are respectful and professional, but approachable at the same time. Hiring a private detective is not usually a sign that things are going well in the client’s life. This is why we need to make sure they feel supported and understood.
We make sure clients know they can contact us whenever they need to. To ensure that we’d be a good fit, we offer everyone a free, no-obligation consultation
Working with Law Firms
Private investigators work in tandem with lawyers to provide supporting evidence for various legal cases. These cases are usually in a family court. They include child custody disputes, contested divorces, and prenuptial agreements. A private investigator might have to record evidence of child neglect, get information about infidelity, or verify someones’ assets, employment, and earnings.
Working with legal clients means that we have to take great care when gathering evidence because we must ensure that it’s court-admissible. Footage and photographs need to be time-and-date stamped, clear, and irrefutably demonstrate what is going on.
Working with Insurance Companies
On the other side of the coin are insurance companies. We usually work for insurance companies to investigate personal injury claims. Fraudulent claims are incredibly costly to insurance companies and indirectly affect everyone, as they drive up the cost of premiums. An individual’s personal injury claim is usually supported by a solicitor and challenged by the insurance company, whom we support.
Personal injury surveillance requires a lot of tact and an equal amount of skill. The investigator has to be aware that, if the claim is legitimate, they are conducting surveillance on a victim rather than a fraudster, so we must conduct ourselves properly at all times. We also have to ensure that the evidence we gather is usable in court and cannot be sensibly challenged by the claimant’s solicitor.
Working with Companies
Investigators work with companies of all sizes to help with the hiring process and conduct internal investigations. Our most popular corporate services are enhanced due diligence background checks, which add an elevated level of security in high-stakes hiring.
When it comes to working with companies, professional service is paramount. Corporate investigations require professional conduct and exceptional standards of service. We take the time to understand our clients’ goals, and we develop a bespoke intelligence plan to help them meet them. Our evidence is always professionally presented in a final report, ready to submit to tribunals and hiring committees.
Keeping It Above-Board
In 2001, The Security Industry Authority (SIA) released plans for clear regulation in the private investigation industry, but no action has been taken as yet. That said, investigators still have to follow the same laws as everyone else.
We have to make sure we handle data responsibly and in line with GDPR requirements. We also must behave responsibly, ensuring that our investigations are both safe and ethical. PI UK will never conduct intrusive surveillance or do anything that might constitute harassment.
The SIA does offer opportunities to be licensed as a private investigator. Although it’s not a requirement, it’s good practice to be registered by the SIA. We make sure our investigators and associates have all relevant qualifications and registrations.
A Note about Working with Law Enforcement
Law enforcement officers fall under the category of public investigators. Their job is to investigate crimes and gather evidence that the Crown Prosecution Service can implement to secure convictions.
Because of this, we don’t tend to work with law enforcement in our day-to-day work, as our areas of investigation don’t really overlap. On occasion, we do get evidence of a crime or witness a crime in progress. When this happens, we call the police and cooperate with them as much as they need.
How to Become a Private Investigator
If you think becoming a PI is a good career prospect for you, you might be wondering how to get started. There are dozens of ways into private investigation. Many investigators already have surveillance experience, with a background in the police, armed forces, or government intelligence.
It’s not necessary to have a background in public investigation, although it may have its advantages. Many colleges offer vocational professional investigation courses, both as a BTEC and the new T-Level. These qualifications are required to get an SIA license, so you’d have to take them if you wanted to be registered. A good course will give you the relevant training in surveillance, privacy, and responsible investigation.