It’s natural to assume that private investigators only exist in the movies – until of course you find yourself staring down the barrel of a situation that calls for one. Right now, there are more private investigators in business up and down the UK than ever before, carrying out a wide variety of important services for businesses and private customers alike. From checking up on suspected-cheating spouses to ensuring those taking time off work are indeed as sick as they say they are, there’s a very big difference between invading someone’s privacy and finding out the important truth.
Of course, knowing which investigator to choose can be a tricky subject as it’s not as if most people have any real experience with such individuals. Needless to say, you don’t want to hire a PI that a) makes a mess of things or b) gives the game away as to do so could land you in more trouble than it’s worth. As such, it’s important to ensure that at least a few basic boxes are ticked and checks carried out before going ahead.
Here’s a quick look at the five crucial checks that will help guarantee you a wise and safe decision when hiring a PI:
1 – Check Experience
First of all, while it’s fair to say that every PI has to start somewhere, you really don’t want their first ever case to be your case. They may have all the best intentions, but it takes years of experience and practice to know how to get the job done right. So even if they’ve not necessarily been around since the dawn of time, it’s still a good idea to make sure that they have at least some experience. And when checking up on their experience, it’s important to make sure they have relevant experience too. After all, each type of case a PI takes on requires a very different approach and set of skills.
2 – Area of Specialism
There will always be those in the industry who offer wide-ranging PI services and are willing to take just about anything on. By contrast, others will be focused more specifically on something like corporate matters or perhaps marital issues/suspected cheating. It’s important that this be taken into account as if you hire a PI for one job and it turns out that their specialism and area of focus is something totally different, chances are they’re not going to do nearly as good of a job as someone with a more relevant area of specialism. They should make this clear enough by way of their advertising or website, but if it’s in any way not totally apparent, be sure to ask.
3 – References and Feedback
There’s really only one way of verifying whether or not a PI can and will do what they say they can do – and that’s to check that they’ve done their job properly before. This means taking a look into the feedback and reviews of their past and present clients to see what they have to say about them. A good PI won’t be in the habit of publishing an extensive list of all the people that have hired them in the past, but when asked they should be able to provide details of case studies and at least a few references. If not, proceed with caution.
4 – Locality
Many workers in the PI industry today offer services that cover the whole of the UK. This is all well and good, but the very best PIs to employ will always be those that know your specific area like the back of their hand. Local knowledge tends to play a huge role in the success or otherwise of many kinds of investigations. What’s more, if the PI is required to travel long distances on a frequent basis, chances are the resulting bill is going to be much higher than it needs to be. So if possible, hire a PI that’s based at least reasonably close to you – or the area of the investigation.
5 – Insurance
Last but not least, any PI operating without insurance is in every respect a PI that you do not want to be doing business with. The very nature of the job means that there will be risks involved and it’s important to ensure they’re covered. Chances are that if they get into trouble, it won’t in any way affect you, but at the same time it’s a mark or professionalism for them to carry insurance and cover what they do as comprehensively as possible. If unsure, ask.