What are the primary reasons for hiring a private investigator?

There are many reasons people decide to go down the private investigation route and hire a private investigator or private detective. Although the reasons can vary wildly, from personal safety to suspicion of corporate espionage, the one thing they have in common is that a person or company has decided they cannot deal with the matter themselves and could benefit from the expertise and skills of a private investigator or private investigative agency

There are numerous reasons someone might want to start a private investigation but they generally fall into one of two categories, personal or commercial. Here at OpSec Solutions we offer help with both private and commercial clients, no matter the reason driving a decision. 

To help you decide if you may need the services of a private investigative agency, in this article we give you the primary reasons to hire a private investigator and when you should consider taking that step. 

Personal Reasons

Hiring a private investigator for personal reasons is usually the most common enquiry private investigators will receive. Although film and TV have often portrayed private investigators as shadowy figures, they are usually consummate professionals with a high level of skill and expertise within the industry. So if you have a personal issue you feel you need help with, or you need to provide court admissible evidence to support a claim, then hiring a private detective can be the right choice. But what can they help with?

Relationship & Matrimonial 

It is never an easy decision to hire a private investigator to investigate a relationship, but this is one of the most common reasons behind the hiring of private detectives. To either get peace of mind or collect the evidence needed to prove infidelity or wrongdoing, relationship investigations need to be discreet and detailed. This usually requires undercover surveillance solutions as well as both technical and mobile surveillance. 

A private investigator conducting this type of investigation may often fit covert devices to reveal intimate conversations and interactions. However, it is important to note that private detectives can only act within the law and any steps they take will be in line with current and relevant regulations. 

Divorce proceedings can often be stressful and contentious and as such, private investigations are sometimes needed to help ascertain the truth around assets held, cohabitation claims and financial information. In these cases, a private investigator will often have to combine the skills of surveillance and clever use of digital technology. 

Background Checks 

With the advent of online dating, background checks are becoming more common. Private individuals want to check the veracity of someone before getting into a relationship and some individuals want the reassurance that their partner is financially secure before embarking on moving in together or marriage. Background checks can also prove or disprove odd behaviour in relationships and help protect a person from individuals with a criminal history of domestic violence. If you have any suspicions that someone you care about is not being entirely honest, then it may be time to contact a private investigator. 

Child Custody

One of the more challenging reasons to hire a private investigator is to investigate child custody claims. This may be because a child is under a child protection order and you believe the rules surrounding such an order are being broken, or perhaps there is mistrust over the treatment of a child by another parent. 

Private investigators can provide an impartial service and gather any evidence needed to protect the child or children involved, whilst understanding the need to be discreet whilst keeping in mind any safeguarding policies they have in place. 


When a loved one dies, the last will and testament can cause familial issues. At this point it can be useful to hire a private investigator to investigate the circumstances around the drafting and signature of a will and the location of any person that may be able to provide clarity. Any evidence can be used to help support a claim and bring costly disputes to a resolution. 

Tracing Missing Persons

Another common reason for hiring a private investigator is to find or trace an individual. As missing person cases are initially handled by the police, there may be some frustration at the level of resources allocated, which is when individuals and families turn to private investigators for help. This type of investigation is carried out by private investigators or tracing agents with experience in location services and who can work with agencies both in the UK and abroad to trace a missing person. When doing this type of investigation, tracing agents are fully aware of the need to be discreet with their surveillance and utilise the digital tools they have at their disposal, such as database access, to help narrow down their search and identify the whereabouts of an individual. 

As cases like this are deeply personal and distressing, any proficient private investigator or agency should consider your requirements and handle your case with care and attention. 

Stalking & Close Protection Services

One of the most harrowing reasons for hiring a private detective is the belief you may be being followed or have had threats against your person. This can be incredibly scary and we would always advise getting the police involved as well as any private investigators. Most agencies offer counter surveillance services to help trace and identify a stalker, but if you believe you may be at risk from harm, then close protection would be advisable. 

Close protective services are the hiring of a bodyguard or team, either covertly or as a visual deterrent, to help protect the safety of an individual or family. These are often private investigators, usually with a military or police background that are trained to physically protect a client from harm. Some of the reasons you may need close protection are:

  • Child protection 
  • Protection in hostile environments 
  • Protection against direct or indirect threats 
  • Protection in cases of stalking  
  • Corporate protection of assets 

Commercial Reasons

Private citizens are not the only people that require the services of a private investigator. Businesses and companies are often more likely to need investigations to gain supporting evidence for any serious action they want to take against any criminal enterprise. This can range from employee theft, to electronic protective services. 

Fraud Investigations

It doesn’t matter if it is a personal or corporate issue, fraud should never be tolerated, so if you suspect dishonesty or something illegal may be going on either at home or in the workplace, you may want to look at hiring a private investigator. If you are a business looking to hire a private investigator to review an employee or employees, then choose one that has experience with corporate fraud. They will be trained to spot irregularities and may often come from a corporate background themselves. 

Using surveillance and latest in digital technologies, private investigators can put together the portfolio of evidence you need to act.

Private investigators can also investigate the validity of personal injury claims, such as slip and fall accidents or car accidents, by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and examining medical records.

Cyber Crime

Investigations such as this were predominantly the sole premise for corporations wanting to investigate security breaches, however with the increasing use of technology and with the entire world now online, cyber-crime is on the rise. Such is the nature of the illegality; it is often hard for the police to correctly identify and find the culprit as well as being able to allocate the resources needed to catch the criminals. As a result, individuals as well as corporations are hiring private investigators to help prevent issues of cybercrime. 

Private investigators can help put a stop to any attacks and use their digital expertise to track and trace the origin of a hacker. There are many reasons behind cybercrime but the most common ones private investigators deal with are, theft of corporate data, blackmail and extortion and hacking of a professional network. 

Process Serving 

If you are a business, government body or a member of the legal profession, there may be occasions when you require an efficient and reliable individual for process serving and litigation support. This may be for court injunctions, bankruptcy, or divorce for example. If you want to hire someone to serve court documents, then private investigators are often trained and insured for this purpose. 

Counter Surveillance 

Private investigators are often employed by businesses to discover any incidents of surveillance. Whether it’s hidden cameras, voice recorders or covert tracking, private investigators can gain evidence of the perpetrators to help businesses take action. They will often take electronic counter measures to identify or prevent eavesdropping, then debug the area by carrying out a full electronic sweep. 

Where and if required, private detectives can also use the latest technology to block out surveillance devices so businesses can continue to operate without the fear of being overheard. 

Business disputes

Private investigators can help resolve business disputes, such as cases of fraud, embezzlement, or breach of contract, by gathering evidence and providing documentation to support legal action.

Hiring a private investigator

It is important to note that private investigators must operate within the bounds of the law and follow ethical standards. They must have a valid reason for conducting an investigation and obtain the necessary permissions. If you are considering hiring a private investigator, it is important to choose a reputable and experienced professional who operates legally and ethically and you should always make sure the person or agency you are hiring are trained in the area of investigation you need. 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. 

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. 

We also don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to surveillance. We understand that every case has its own requirements and complexities – whether it’s a long-term static project, or dynamic mobile surveillance that needs operatives in various locations.

That is why our team takes time to assess every case in detail. After an in-depth consultation, we will outline a clear methodology, tailored to the type of private investigator you require. 

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? Then please contact us today. 

Whatever your reason for private investigation, we can help. 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. 

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