The private investigations industry is booming, as people turn more and more to individually hired detectives to get them the answers they need to their problems. This has become the case as Government cutbacks have led to pressure on the Police with an inevitable reduction in the number of cases which they can investigate. Veritas Investigations, a Glasgow private investigations company has provided the following checklist – a list of questions you should ask any private investigations business prior to engaging them.
Number 1 – What is their telephone number ? Be ready to walk away if there is a non geographic number for the business – eg 0800, or 0845 or maybe it’s a mobile number – you want to hire a private detective agency with a physical address and telephone number. If the address given is a P.O. box number, checkout the real address behind the P.O. box address by phoning the Post Office – they have a legal requirement to give you the information.
Number 2 – Experience. We cannot emphasize this enough, you need to make sure that the people you are about to engage have a strong track record of successful cases and satisfied clients. Don’t be shy here, ask them for details of their previous clients and make sure you get phone numbers so that you can check and verify this for yourself. Veritas Investigations, for example, only employ ex police detectives, all of whom are trained in covert policing. In a highly unregulated market, the onus is on you, the client, to make sure you do your homework and appoint a solid, professional, experienced company.
Number 3 – Find out about their methods of operation. A good firm of private investigators will have procedures and structures in place to make sure that the work they do complies with the rules of evidence and also complies with all current legislation. The last thing you want is to potentially pay someone a lot of money to gather information on your behalf only to find out later that it is inadmissable in a court of law.
Number 4 – Cost. The going rate for a private investigator varies depending on where you are in the UK and the quality of the firm you are going to employ. A reasonable expectation, outwith London, would be around £40 – £50 per hour, although there will be other costs including mileage, and equipment charges which can substantially increase the overall bill.
Number 5 – Go with your gut. Most of the time you will have an inner feeling as to who is the right person for you – and beware of Private Investigators who talk a lot and don’t listen enough – it should be the other way around !