The Modern-Day Private Investigator
When people think of a private investigator, there is still somewhat of a stigma attached in the form of trench coats, hats and sunglasses. But the modern world of private investigation is actually very different.
When I tell people about my business, Miss A.M. Investigations, they often jump to the conclusion that I spy on cheating partners, follow unscrupulous characters around and have the odd car chase. And, whilst this is part and parcel of the day job, I very often work closely with senior executives in legal firms and corporate organisations, safeguarding against fraud and intellectual property as well as tracking online scams and money laundering.
Whilst the online world is becoming as notorious as the uncovering of an illicit affair, I am also heavily involved with tracing missing people who often owe large amounts of money and have disappeared. Most recently, I found the ‘missing’ author of a popular series currently airing on Netflix. This took a couple of weeks and the client who was in search of the mystery lady was over the moon with my methodical approach to investigation. With 250,000 people going missing in the UK each year, it’s an area that, since setting up in business seven months ago, I’m already specialising in. I work with heartbroken families desperate for answers and large employers who have been unsuccessful in tracking down former employees.
Private investigators have a variety of sources available for locating a person, such as Find People UK.
But when it comes to selecting a PI, what should you look for?
According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) register of data controllers, in 2012, 2000 PI agencies were registered, with many more working without any accountability in place or registered to a professional body. Being a member of the United Kingdom Professional Investigators Network (UKPIN), I assure each and every client the highest standards of professionalism whilst engaged in their investigation activities. And, and for new clients starting their search for the perfect PI match, this should be their first step to ensuring accountability. PIs that choose not to be a part of a professional body or association are only bringing down a sector that is growing year-on-year. In fact, the Association of British Investigators has witnessed a spike in the number of females entering the industry during the last four years, further dispelling the myth that most PIs are male.
Experience is important but qualifications are a must. My qualifications speak for themselves; I have four diplomas at distinction level in forensics and profiling, intermediate criminology and private investigation, meaning I’m well placed and experienced to look after any case that I’m presented with.
Professional indemnity insurance is part and parcel of running a legitimate PI business, so it’s worth asking about their cover.Selecting the best investigator Trust and openness is a huge part in the client-PI relationship and it’s to feel comfortable with that person right from the get go. There are many PI agencies that outsource services so establish which investigator will be handling what case. I look after the entire process from start to finish, leaving no stone unturned, and with open and honest communication at the forefront of every case, clients can feel rest assured that they will be in professional hands.