There can be many reasons a person may look into hiring a private investigator, from suspicions of partner infidelity, to employment background checks, from finding a missing person to fraud investigations, so due to this variation, the world of private investigation can sometimes be a confusing place.
Private investigations are now a large part of the security industry and as such, it may be difficult to narrow down what and who you may need. With private investigators offering a myriad of different services, you may need to do some research before reaching out to a potential hire.
Unfortunately, the security and private investigations sector is heavily unregulated and as such, there are people out there who will happily take your money but won’t provide the service you need, therefore, before hiring a private investigator, there are some steps you should take to make sure you get the best service for your requirements.
What to consider before hiring a private investigator?
By taking the steps below, you are more likely to find a private investigator suited to your needs and that can provide the best outcome for your investigation.
If you want to know that the company or investigator you are using is credible, it is worth looking for the membership badge of the Association of British Investigators (ABI).
The ABI was formed in 1913, to give accountability in a profession with zero official licensing. Because of the damage being done to the security industry by rogue traders, they put together their own voluntary code of ethics and standards and encouraged reputable companies and investigators to sign up. Being a member of the organisation is now seen as a badge of quality, as all members must be thoroughly vetted and continually adhere to their code of ethics to stay registered.
As private investigative services can often require tracking, covert tracing and access to phone records and computer activity, it is imperative that private investigation firms operate in line with the law and in an ethical manner. Especially if you need actionable evidence. So look for a private investigator with the ABI badge, or something similar, such as The UK Professional Investigators Network (UKPIN), Institute of Professional Investigators (IPI) or World Association of Professional Investigators (WAPI).
Experience and results are vital when looking at hiring a private investigator. Most private investigators or detectives will come from a professional police or military background and have expertise in surveillance. If you are looking for a specific type of private investigator, then it is important to check that the person you are considering hiring has the relevant expertise, for example, if you are a corporation that thinks there may be a security breach in their computer network, you would need to hire a private investigator that has a specialty in cybercrime.
Asking about a private investigator’s experience and expertise is one of the key priorities when considering hiring, so it is always best to know what type of situation or investigation you may need. This way you can compare the skills and experience of the private investigator to the type of investigation you require.
If you are unsure of what you would need, don’t hesitate to ask, a reputable investigator or firm will happily talk through all your available options with you.
If you are looking to hire a private investigator for close protection services then it is important to know that close protection officers (CPOs) must hold a Security Industry Authority (SIA) Close Protections Licence. To get this, they need to have completed the Close Protection training course and hold a Level 3 certificate for working as a close protection operative within the private security industry. They must also be a current, certified first aider.
All private investigators and private investigation firms should have professional indemnity insurance, you can ask to see if a company or person has the right cover in place before you hire them.
Testimonials are an effective way of checking to see if a private investigator is worth hiring. Look on their website, read as many reviews as you can and see if their address matches any other listings.
Confidentiality and data protection
During the course of an investigation, you may have to provide sensitive information, and the investigator on your case will often have to collect information regarding the identity of a person. Because of this, it is imperative that you choose a reputable private investigator that is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, this is a requirement of all businesses to ensure adherence with data protection laws.
It is also prudent to choose a private investigator that guarantees full confidentiality. Look for investigators that say they are DBS checked and ICO cleared and don’t be afraid to ask for proof.
Hiring a private investigator
If you follow the steps and research outlined above, then you may have a list of possible private investigators.
Before committing to a private investigator or a private investigation firm, we would always advise asking for a consultation to discuss your particular needs and the specifics of your case before handing over any money or personal information. This should help protect you against unscrupulous companies.
During your consultation, discuss any costs, including any upfront fees and do not forget to ask for a contact number and ask when they will be available. Good client communication is essential, especially in cases which may be of a more personal nature.
There are, however, good private investigators and firms out there that will get you the results you need, such as OpSec Solutions.
Private Investigations with OpSec Solutions
If you are looking to hire a private investigator, you should always make sure the person or agency you are hiring are both reputable and trained in the area of investigation you need. If you are looking for a specific type of private investigator, you want to be sure that they have the knowledge, the skills and the experience required to do the job efficiently and often discreetly.
Our expert security and intelligence team at OpSec solutions is at the heart of what we offer. Every member of the team has a professional background with invaluable experience, whether that’s military, policing, government, or the corporate sector
When you hire a private investigator, regardless as to the why, you want the reassurance that they can offer a fast response when required. Knowledge of the local area is also critical to the services they provide. Both can be achieved by finding a private investigator that is based locally near you.
Unlike many other private investigation companies, OpSec Solutions ticks both these boxes, with private investigator services across the UK. We have headquarters in London and Manchester, with local private investigators across the nation. Wherever you are based, we will provide a local service with a fast response and no compromise on the results.
To give you the best possible outcome for your investigation, our team takes time to assess every case in detail. We understand that every case has its own requirements and complexities – whether it is a long-term static project, or dynamic mobile surveillance that needs operatives in various locations. After an in-depth consultation, we will outline a clear methodology, tailored to the type of private investigation you require.
We understand that the trust factor is invaluable when it comes to choosing a private investigator, especially in personal matters and if there are legal issues and evidence involved. As evidence can only be used if it has been obtained legally, it is vitally important for you to put your trust in a private detective or private investigation firm that can get you the results in a legal and ethical manner, whilst conducting themselves and their operation with the highest of standards in order to produce quality, effective results. This is best practice throughout private, personal, corporate, or commercial investigations. At OpSec Solutions, we complete all work legally, confidentially and in full compliance with GDPR. We have accreditation and membership from some of the industry’s leading bodies, so you have peace of mind that any private investigative services are carried out ethically, legally and with full confidentiality.
It doesn’t matter who you are, OpSec Solutions works with solicitors, loss adjusters and insurance companies, small businesses and individuals, and even large enterprises who can subcontract their surveillance and investigative needs to our capable team. Want to know more about the private investigator services we provide, our state-of-the-art technology, and how we could help you? Please contact us at OpSec Solutions today to discuss how we can resolve your case. Email [email protected] or call us on 0844-664-1125.