If you have suspicions about some dodgy dealing happening around you, you can hire a private investigator to help you set your mind at ease and find out the truth. People use private investigators when they feel that the issue is not of police concern, or if they want special attention on one particular person or problem.
What does a private investigator do?
- Find objects or people: Private investigators are often hired to hunt down people or objects, such as an old friend, a long-lost relative, or someone who owes you money. You can also look for objects, such as a stolen or collectors’ item.
- Performs background checks: If you want to find out about the history of a potential employee, future business partner, tenant, or other relationship, a private investigator can get you some information so that you can see if you are dealing with a savoury character.
- Sets up a surveillance system: If you think that an employee may be stealing from you, or for any other surveillance reason, you may consider hiring private investigator to set up a network of cameras and other equipment to unearth the truth.
Where can I find a private investigator?
You can find a private investigator on the internet or by consulting the Yellow Pages directory. However, you need to insure that you are hiring an ethical professional who is not out to rip you off. The best way to source a private investigator is through a referral. Try finding a friend who has hired an investigator, or ask at the local Police Station for good private investigators in your area. You can also consider asking at the District Attorney’s office, as they may have used evidence from private investigators in court cases.
Points to consider when you hire a private investigator
- The private investigator should be licenced. A title does not necessarily make a qualification, and a private investigator can only be licenced if they have had a certain number of hours of field work (working with the police force or other investigator, for example) and if they pass a background check.
- The private investigator should be experienced. Feel free to ask them questions about their educational background, technical skills and investigative speciality. You can ask about previous cases they have had similar to your own and ask for the outcome of these cases.
- Check if they have a clean record and that no complaints have been registered against them.
- Ensure that you are happy with the overall character of the investigator. You want to feel comfortable that they care about your case (not only about the money) and that they seem trustworthy and confidential. A good private investigator will never reveal your identity if confronted by the person being investigated.
- Try finding a private investigator who can testify in court if necessary. If the investigator has a background in law enforcement this may be beneficial as they can provide and produce legal materials and evidence that can be used in court. Ask the investigator if he will be prepared to go to court if necessary and find out if he has taken the stand in a similar case. Your case will be all the stronger if the private investigator you hire is well-equipped to testify and present the information he has discovered.
- The private investigator must have a good sense of what makes up human nature. If they are experience in the field, they will understand how the human psychology works and they will be able to do a more efficient job.
- The private investigator must have an office that they work out of. This shows that he runs a professional business and that you will be able to find him again after you have paid him. Be wary of a private investigator who insists on meeting in a restaurant or some other public place.
- The private investigator must be honest and upfront about the fees involved and how much you will be expected to pay him. You can even get a number of quotes from different investigators to check what kind of price you should be paying.