How to Ensure You Hire an Ethical Private Investigator

By Mark Parfitt | Submitted On June 03, 2016

From gathering evidence for a divorce case to offering fraud investigation services, private investigators are becoming an increasingly popular option for businesses and people from all walks of life. Not only are individuals hiring these professionals for their investigative skills, but law firms and even employers are now using these services to help get results.

For legal firms, this might mean hiring a private investigator to assist in carrying out fraud investigation services. For employers, it could mean vetting potential candidates to find out if they are really suitable for the jobs that they are advertising. Whatever the reason and whoever is doing the hiring, finding an ethical private investigator is always important.

The reason that this is an issue is because this profession has a somewhat undeserved reputation of toeing the line of legality when it comes to obtaining evidence or carrying out investigations. Although this is primarily an issue of ethics, there is also the valid point that any evidence obtained illegally cannot be used in court.

This is therefore not only a case of hiring a private detective that conducts their work in a correct and moral manner, but also one that will be useful for the purposes of the client hiring the investigator, especially if there is a chance that any evidence obtained will be presented in the courtroom.

The first way to find out whether an investigator is ethical or not is to find out the personal and professional histories of staff working at the detective agency and also the training that they have received. This is critically important for a number of reasons, the first one being that staff hired without adequate security checks and without DBS checks are far more risky.

Any reputable private detective agency will ensure that all of its staff have had adequate security checks, character references and criminal history checks before they are employed. This helps to maintain a high standard where clients can feel reassured about the quality of service they are being provided with.

Proof of training is also important to ensure that the private investigators assigned to a case have full knowledge of the best practices of their profession and know how to conduct an investigation within the confines of the law. This can range from obtaining a license in security work right through to obtaining an Edexcel accreditation.

If the investigators have a history of working within the legal system or in law enforcement, this is also a significant indicator that any detectives hired will be delivering an ethical and high quality service for clients.

One thing that anyone looking to hire a private investigations firm must absolutely look at is whether or not the staff at the agency is up to speed with the latest legislation on what evidence is admissible in the courtroom. This includes being fully aware of the details of the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act.

Similarly, an agency with a long track record of successfully turning up useful evidence that has been admissible in a court of law is much more likely to be a safer bet. Again, this is a sign of strong ethics as well as an indicator of exceptional competence in the field.

Finally, it is strongly recommended to hire a firm that is a member of the Association of British Investigators. Although not every firm is a member, there is a strict code of conduct to follow along with criminal background checks and other quality assessments in order to become a part of the Association.

Whether a client is looking for an investigator to prove spouse infidelity or for fraud investigation services, a member of the ABI can provide a level of assurance that a code of ethics and a consistently high quality of service are being met.

With offices in London and Oxford, Specialist PI undertakes all types of Detective and Investigative work including divorce and matrimonial cases, investigation of bogus injury and insurance claims, detecting and preventing employee theft, locating debtors and absconders, corporate fraud investigations, the sale of counterfeit goods and covert surveillance. We employ a team of Private Investigators who are ex-police detectives with a proven track record of successful investigation operations, and are trained to handle sensitive situations with the utmost discretion. Our Detectives can work individually or as sub-contractors of other Private Detective Agencies or Security companies, and can handle a range of different cases, from fraud to infidelity. For more information, please visit:

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