Hiring a private detective can be a daunting task, especially if you have never done it before. At OpSec Solutions, we know that it can be hard to find the right agency or hire a private investigator that can work to get you the outcome you need, that is why we have put together our top tips to help you make the right decision and get the most out of your investment.
- Determine your needs: Before you start searching for a private detective, it is important to understand what you need them for. Do you need to gather evidence for a court case? Are you trying to locate a missing person? Knowing what you need will help you find the right detective for the job. If you are looking for someone to conduct a surveillance investigation, then it might be worth considering surveillance companies, as they are likely to have better tools suited to your needs.
- Look for experience: A private detective with years of experience is more likely to have the skills and knowledge necessary to get the job done. Make sure to ask about their experience and the types of cases they have worked on in the past.
- Check their credentials: Make sure when you hire a private investigator that you ask about whether they are licensed and insured. This is particularly important if you are hiring one for close protection services. Every Close Protection Officer in the UK 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. It is a criminal offence by the person and their employer to work in the private security industry without an SIA Licence, unless the employer has been given the necessary exemptions under Section 4(4) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Therefore, if you are looking for close protection, please check the credentials and accreditation of any close protection officer or private investigator.
- Consider their reputation: Read reviews and ask for references to get an idea of the detective or agency’s reputation. A good reputation is a strong indication of a detective’s abilities and professionalism. With everyone now online, you can read website reviews extremely easily which should help narrow down your search.
- Communicate clearly: Make sure to discuss your goals and expectations with the detective before hiring them. This will help ensure that you both have a clear understanding of what needs to be done.
- Be prepared to pay: Hiring a private detective can be expensive, so it is important to have a budget in mind. Make sure to discuss fees and payment terms with the detective before hiring them to avoid any surprises. A good detective, investigator or agency will be transparent about their costs and if you need a tailored service to you, ensure you know how much it will cost you before agreeing to a price.
- Look for transparency: A good private detective will be transparent about their methods and the steps they will take to get the job done. Avoid detectives who are vague or unwilling to discuss their process as this could be a red flag that they are not willing to stick to the law. A private investigator or private detective will only ever use legal methods to help with their investigations. These follow the rule of UK law, but private operators in other countries may have a different set of laws and guidelines to follow.
- Check out their accreditations: The industry is currently unregulated by the government, so it is important to make sure when hiring a private investigator that you choose one that is held accountable not only to the law, but also has a strong code of ethics. Many reputable investigators and investigative firms belong to one of the trade organisations such as the Association of British Investigators (ABI), who hold their members to a code of ethics, which can help protect you against firms acting unlawfully and against your best interests.
- Ask about their technology: Technology is a critical tool for private detectives. Make sure the detective you hire is proficient in using technology, such as GPS tracking and surveillance equipment.
- Location, location, location: It is also wise to consider location. This specialist knowledge of the location where your investigation is most likely to be based, or conducted, is vital when choosing a private detective. You may find some great private investigators Manchester for example, but if you’re based across the country, not only will you likely incur extra costs due to travel, but there isn’t the local knowledge that can be important when conducting an investigation and trying to obtain the evidence that you need.
- Get a written agreement: Before the detective begins work, make sure to get a written agreement that outlines the scope of the work, the plan, payment terms, and any other crucial details.
- Trust your instincts: Finally, trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable with a particular detective, don’t hire them. It is important to work with someone you trust to get the results you need.
In conclusion, hiring a private detective can be a great way to gather information and solve problems, but it is important to do your research and choose wisely. Make sure to consider experience, credentials, reputation, transparency, technology, and communication, and always trust your instincts. If you want an investigator you can trust, then please get in touch with us here at OpSec Solutions. With decades of experience in surveillance and security solutions, we understand the complexities and differences with investigations and conduct all our operations ethically and discreetly. Our professionals have backgrounds from military, police, and government backgrounds, are all trained to the highest national standards, and we are accredited across the board. If you would like to know more about what we can do for you, please arrange a consultation by emailing [email protected], calling us on 0844-664-1125 or using the enquiry form on our website.