What is a Private Investigator
We create confidence; applying evidence and uncovering the truth.
A private investigator is a person working with tactics and methods similar to the police force but within the private sector. Hence the term private investigator and private investigation. The terms private investigator, private detective, and detective are used synonymously and refer to the same role and work.
The word detective is the most widely used term as is seen in many countries:
The word detective originates from the latin ‘detegere’ to uncover and discover.
In short, private investigators help create confidence by applying evidence and uncovering the truth.
A private investigator has no special authority or means of access to databases and public records, court documents, etc. compared to other private individuals. This applies in many countries around the world.
As such, the private investigator’s key to success lies in their intellectual capacities and skill set for obtaining and analysing information, as well as knowing how and where to find it. This type of information is often referred to as evidence i.e. detailed factual information of relevance to a case. All investigations must be legal and an important part of the job is specialised knowledge of the law, as well as the skills and methods of conducting investigations.
In general, detectives and private investigators are needed because the resources of the police are limited, and doubt alone rarely qualifies for opening a police investigation. Also, many companies and private individuals have the need for discretion, which is the core of a private investigation. This provides the client with full insight and control of the investigation, as opposed to a police investigation of a case. In relation to PR and protecting a brand or well known person, private investigation through professional detective agencies can be a good investment.
Typically, the evidence is collected from either “desk work” or “field work”. Most investigations involve both.
Desk work investigation as a general term, refers to evidence obtained from the office or desk. This typically involves a lot of time in front of a computer collecting and analyzing information located on the internet, social media, and public databases. Other types of desk work includes IT forensics, telephone interviews, etc.
Field work in this general term refers to investigative methods carried out in the field. This involves the traditional investigation techniques such as interviews, site inspections, and technical investigations, but also surveillance and undercover work. Surveillance and undercover work often become an important part of the investigation to establish what is really going on through facts and evidence.