If you are thinking about hiring a tracing agent in the UK, also sometimes referred to as private investigators or private detectives, you may be concerned about when you should hire one. There are no fixed rules as to when, however, if you are struggling to locate a person or asset on your own, then we would recommend using the professional services of a tracing agent. For further help and advice, we have written this blog to find out if a tracing agent can help you and why you may need one.
There are several reasons you may want to hire a private investigator in the UK. Although traditionally considered for finding a missing person, there are numerous reasons when hiring a private investigator or tracing agent can be beneficial to you or your business.
Tracing a missing person
The most common reason for hiring a private investigator is to find or trace an individual. This type of investigation is conducted by 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 tactful with any surveillance that may need to be conducted and utilise the digital tools they have at their disposal, such as database access, to help narrow down their search and identify the possible locations of an individual.
As cases like this are often deeply personal and can be distressing for family and friends, any professional private investigator or private investigation firm will take into consideration your requirements and outline what they can do to help and communicate with you on a regular basis.
If you are a business, government body or a member of the legal profession, there may be occasions when you require an efficient and dependable individual for process serving and litigation support. This may be for court injunctions, bankruptcy, or divorce proceedings. Hiring a tracing agent is particularly useful if the person to be served is not easily contactable. Not only can they find the person, but tracing agents are often trained and insured for serving court documents.
Finding a witness
If you are a member of the legal profession that needs to find a witness, you will often not have the time or resources needed to carry out a location investigation yourself. At this point, you should consider hiring a tracing agent. This can be a cost and time-effective way of preparing for a case, as tracing agents are specialists in being able to find a witness quickly and efficiently. Ensure any tracing agent you employ understands the need to be discreet and choose one with an excellent reputation to avoid any future legal disputes over evidence and compliance.
How do tracing agents find a person?
Although the familiar trope in TV and films is that private investigators will visit particular haunts and homes to talk to friends and family that will miraculously end in them knowing precisely where an individual is, in real life, there is a lot harder work involved!
Now everyone is online, technology is a key part of tracing anyone, the digital footprint left behind by an individual has become a key starting point for any investigation. The most commonly used methods are:
- Background Checks - A background check is often the first step to tracing an individual. A background check is simply a check of an individual’s digital movements and records. Private Investigators can use social media, access all public records, including criminal records and unsealed court documents, as well as databases that may not be accessible to the public. While private documents and information, including credit reports, can only be viewed with the express permission of the owner, there are many public documents and records that will often provide the necessary details to enable a private investigator to conduct a thorough background check, which can help with information as to a person’s whereabouts.
- Technological forensics - If it is necessary and under certain legal circumstances, tracing agents can carry out mobile phone and computer forensics to recover deleted information. This is particularly useful when trying to trace a person that may be needed for witness purposes or is needed for matters involving a crime. Although this step is not regularly taken or required, private investigators should have the technological skill to be able to use and uncover information on digital devices.
- Electronic Surveillance – Any good, professional private investigator will usually have available the latest in innovative technology to be able to survey and monitor a range of media. With permission, they can legally access video and audio recordings, corporate phone call records and computer activity to find out any details that may lead them to where a person may be.
How OpSec Solutions can help you trace an individual
Here at OpSec Solutions, we can provide efficient and covert research into the location of an individual. We have specialist tracing agents, in both the office and the field and because we use the latest technology and software, we can provide you with a successful outcome.
All our investigations are carried out with professionalism and expertise and if there are certain circumstances where you would rather an individual or witness you are tracing is not alerted to the search, our research and surveillance can be done covertly and in confidence.
Any information we receive or provide in regard to the whereabouts of an individual is secure, strictly confidential and in full compliance with all UK data protection laws.
If you require any confidential guidance or advice on tracing an individual, whether you are a private company or individual, government or council agency or creditor or landlord, then our reputation shows we are a company you can trust to help, no matter the circumstances. If you require further information or to book a free consultation with us here at OpSec Solutions, please get in touch via the website, call us on 0844 6641125 or email [email protected]