Whether it’s gathering evidence for divorce proceedings or finding proof that an employee is feigning illness, a private investigator (PI) can help you uncover the truth whatever the purpose. In the UK, however, there is some uncertainty around what information PIs can legally obtain and how they use it in their cases.
In this post, we take a look at what the law says, what information they are allowed to access and how they can use this to help your investigation.
What does the law say?
There are plenty of questions surrounding what a PI can legally do in the UK. PIs don’t have the same legal rights to certain information as the police or law enforcement authorities. This means there is a limit to what they can obtain and how they access it.
Above all else, PIs are not allowed to impersonate a police office or trespass on private property. This means they can’t use coercion or false police identities to obtain any details. When choosing a PI, it is therefore advisable to pick a company which is open and transparent about how they gather their information. This ensures all work is above board and completed to the best possible standard.
When PIs are members of security bodies like the ICO, you can rest assured they understand the importance of protecting the rights and privacy of individuals. It’s important that any PIs you hire follow the strict letter of the law and are highly skilled operatives.
All PIs should act discreetly and work with your best interests at heart, making sure they maintain the strictest confidentially. This is not only essential for moral and ethical reasons but also because any illegally obtained information can’t be used in court cases such as divorce or fraud proceedings.
So, what exactly can a PI find out? And what information can they legally use?
What information do PIs have access to?
As PIs don’t have the same legal rights as members of law enforcement, they can’t obtain any private records. This includes phone, financial or medical information. PIs are also not allowed to order a credit report or open any person’s post without the consent of the individual.
However, PIs do have access to public records and court documents. With a wealth of resources at their fingertips, PIs can use varying investigative methods to find the right information about a specific person or a company. The information they can obtain includes the following:
Civil & criminal case records
PIs have access to public, civil and criminal case records. Whether it’s a new employee or private individual, finding a person’s criminal history can either offer you peace of mind or be a necessary employment step.
Marriage & divorce records
Do you want to discover your family tree? Or do you need confirmation of a divorce certificate? PIs help you investigate by gathering information from public marriage and divorce documents.
Are you concerned that your business partner or your ex-spouse is hiding assets from you? That’s where a PI can help. A professional PI can uncover financial and property assets, helping you determine whether financial claims are valid or not.
Location & address
Whether it’s a missing loved one or someone refusing to pay their debts, PIs can assist. Although investigation methods vary in each company, PIs can find the current location, address and whereabouts of the individual in question.
How do PIs use this information?
The question is why would you want this information in the first place? And what exactly can this information help with?
In business, you want to know what you’re getting yourself in for before taking the next step. With all the information from public records such as assets, criminal records and bankruptcies, PIs can help you perform a background check on a new employee or business partner.
Uncover false insurance claims
False and fraudulent insurance claims are on the up. And not only is it costing insurance groups, it’s setting policy holders back. In order to counteract this new wave of false claims, PIs can use their surveillance teams to help corporate companies and individuals gather evidence.
The information they use, such as reports and dated footage, helps with everything from false injury claims to fraudulent car incidents.
Are you worried that your spouse is being unfaithful? Are unsure on their whereabouts? If there’s any doubt, PIs can help you uncover the truth you deserve. Using professional investigation techniques, they can give you all the information you need before you confront your partner.
Divorce proceedings can be upsetting and stressful. To ensure you get a fair and just divorce case, you want to have all the relevant information. Whether that’s all financial assets on the table or proof of extra martial affairs, PIs provide you with evidence to support your claims.
Using surveillance methods and address locations, PIs can help you find a missing person. Whether it’s long lost relative or a cowboy builder who has left without finishing the job, PIs gather all the information you need to track them down.
Do you believe someone is falsely claiming sick pay or even stealing from the office? On a corporate level, PIs use their investigative methods to help businesses and business owners find relevant information to uncover the truth and build a case of evidence.
PIs you can trust
Are you searching for a professional, discreet private investigator? Look no further than Hunter Surveillance Services. Based in Lancashire, our highly skilled team help individuals and corporate clients across the UK. Whether you need to perform background checks or find a missing person, we gather all the relevant and appropriate information to give you the evidence you need.
To find out more about our services, get in touch today on [email protected] or call our friendly team on 07555 712919.