Monday 11 December 2017
Common misconceptions about private investigation
It’s not every day that you would require the services of a private investigator and so it’s important that you know what to expect and the types of things that you can and can’t do. Many people have different opinions about what private investigators do and there is often a misconceived legal grey area surrounding the services they provide. In this post, we’ve set the record straight on some of the common misconceptions about private investigation.
Access to information and police files
There is a common belief among many people that PIs have access to information that goes above that of ordinary citizens. This is simply not the case. As a private investigator, there are certain abilities that come with an official licence but access to sensitive and confidential police information is not one of them. Legally, PIs have to go through the same channels to access information as anyone else.
Back door key to bank accounts
In spite of what many people believe, private investigators don’t have access to any financial information that isn’t public or has been given to them legally with permission from the account holder. For example, a PI could not walk into a bank and ask for information about a customer without written permission. This is often the case with clients interested in matrimonial investigations who may give PIs access to joint bank accounts.
Anyone can be a PI
This one is a bit of a grey area. Technically, in the UK, anyone can be a PI as there are no laws or licensing requirements to market yourself as private investrigator, although it’s long been threatened and could be something that comes into force in the future. But we’d certainly argue that not everyone can be an effective PI, there are certain skills, abilities, and experience that you need to produce results.
PIs can arrest people
Unlike the police, private investigators do not have the power to arrest and detain people against their will. The only powers of arrest held by PIs are equivalent to those held by any member of the public which allows them to carry out citizen’s arrest and inform the authorities.
Enter and search rights
Thanks to a number of films and TV shows, many people falsely believe that private investigators have the right to search people or property. This is not the case. Even if a PI was to claim they had a warrant, they have no more legal authority to search private property than a stranger on the street. This is an important detail to remember for any hiring an investigator or if you find yourself under investigation.
Tags: #privateinvestigatorlaws,#UKlawsonprivateinvestigation#PIrules#legal servicesUK#