[vc_row bg_color=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h3″ align=”left” tag=”h”]Hiring an Investigator[/ish_text_separator][ish_image image=”570″ size=”theme-third” link_type=”image” align=”left”][vc_column_text]Hiring a private investigator was once, to coin a phrase, elementary. You would take a hansom cab to 221B Baker Street. There would be no uncouth discussion of fees or, heaven forbid, professional indemnity insurance. Sherlock Holmes would simply stalk off in a fug of pipe smoke and nab the cad.
Those were the innocent days before phone taps and computer hacking. One relied on doltish, but decent and honest, policemen and on cockney petty thieves who called you ‘Guv’. It was de rigueur to be handy with a swordstick or revolver. Fisticuffs could also come in useful to help a chap out of a tight corner. And one remained resolutely amateur, albeit an amateur with fantastic powers of deduction.
Even today, and quite surprisingly, ‘amateur’ remains the hallmark of the private investigations industry. There are an estimated 10,000 private investigators working in the UK offering services as varied as serving documents, investigating insurance fraud, tracing missing persons, countering intellectual property theft, computer forensics and gathering proof of adultery. Not one of these 10,000 investigators is regulated by the government. Perhaps 20% (or 2,000) have voluntarily submitted to regulation by a peer-reviewed body, but the rest have not. This is why it’s so important to pick the right investigator such as Grey Investigators.[/vc_column_text][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h3″ align=”left” tag=”h”]Choose Wisely[/ish_text_separator][vc_column_text]It would be unfair – and wrong – to assume that these investigators are crooked. Many practise to an ethical code and provide excellent value for money. But given that some aspects of this work can operate at the edge of legality, how are solicitors to distinguish between the good and the bad guys?
Grey Investigators have been instructing private investigators on behalf of insurance company clients for more than 10 years. We make the point that defrauding insurance companies is ‘not a victimless crime’. We all pay the price for fraud through increased premiums, which should be pointed out.
We’ve seen huge changes in the industry over the last decade, with surveillance techniques becoming more sophisticated as products developed by the military have filtered through to civilian use. ‘The growth of social media has also made a big difference,’ she says. ‘It enables investigators to build a picture of younger people in particular.
People will often say one thing in a witness statement and then say something completely different online. They might claim to be unable to pay their ex-wife, for instance, and then boast online about their new car or a recent holiday in the Caribbean.’[/vc_column_text][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h3″ align=”left” tag=”h”]Investigation Examples[/ish_text_separator][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]” Private matters, believing a partner is cheating so putting a tail on him /her or even placing a tracking device on a vehicle to find out their activities.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]“Corporate investigation onto employees to prove theft or fraudulent sick leave to assist companies stopping any illegal activities.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]“Insurance Fraud Investigations are on individuals who are believed to have made a false insurance claim, unfairly taking large amounts of money.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][ish_divider][ish_text_separator][/ish_text_separator][vc_column_text]
How Surveillance Works
- An investigator will get to know the client first, delving into their desires and expectations for the investigation. This determines the depth and means of the study.
- The investigator will then conduct an extensive background check on the subject. Vital information includes the subject’s name, address, phone number, physical description, photograph, and local relatives. Their habits, hobbies, schedules, and coworkers are also important to note.
- Next, an investigator will familiarize themselves with the area where investigations will be taking place, usually via maps and pictures. Being familiar with the location during both the day and night will result in a more effective investigation.
- An investigator will then decides what equipment the particular case calls for and know how to most effectively use it. Some of this could be equipment specifically for investigators, like dash cameras or tinted windows. Equipment also included are things as simple as a flashlight and a full tank of gas.
- Preparing a plan specifically for the case is an important aspect for an investigator. This means developing a reasonable explanation for being in the area. Also adjusting car and clothes in order to fit in as much as possible is a big factor.
- An investigator will then start investigating, keeping in mind common sense (like don’t let the subject make eye contact, don’t park conspicuously, and don’t walk by the house more than once).
- During their investigation, the investigator will also take extensive notes, including dates and times, in order to report to both client and court the most accurate information as possible.