Private Investigators serve a useful need to society and are successful career professionals with enviable pay and an exciting profession. There are all kinds of investigation cases that a private investigator receives and most of that will be detailed here in this article. But it is important to remember that at times he may be approached for a case that he is not qualified to handle. Rather than making false promises to resolve the case a good private investigator will deny taking it up. A good private investigator knows when to turn down a case and when to direct a client to a fellow investigator. Most private investigators specialize in a particular aspect of investigation which makes them an expert in their domain.
The duties of private investigators may vary from case to case. For instance if an investigator is working on a case related to fraudulent workers compensation claim, he may be required to conduct extensive observation of the subjects. Now, if he figures out that the injuries mentioned in a compensation claim are false then he will have to collate evidences to prove the same.
Private Investigators Perform A Variety of Roles
Private detectives conduct different kinds of investigations such as background checks, pre-employment verification, premarital screening, civil liability, insurance fraud, insurance claims, child custody, celebrity, corporate and executive protection. Infidelity in marriages is common these days and private investigators receive several such cases involving confirming the suspicions of a spouse with evidence gathered during surveillance and investigation. Private detectives in Mumbai and other cities in India often earn a substantial part of their income from conducting pre marital background checks because most weddings there are finalized and arranged through matrimonial websites and the couple really do not know anything about each other or their respective families.
A legal investigator needs to have an in-depth knowledge about both civil as well as criminal cases. Thorough knowledge about the legal terms is essential for success in the field of legal investigations. A private investigator desirous of enhancing his reputation and business would do well to join a private investigator association. A lot of knowledge sharing is done during meeting held by such associations and can also help him by increasing his circle of professionals with whom alliances can be formed in the future in cases where there is a resource crunch.
Surveillance is a Private Eye’s Number 1 Skill
Private investigators help lawyers, businesses as well as the general public with their financial, legal and personal problems. They make use of different means to determine different facts. Various kinds of surveillance equipments are used to collect evidences. Phone calls and personal visits are also made. In certain cases, especially the ones involving background checks and missing people, these professionals are required to conduct interviews with the subjects requiring good diction and oratory skills.
Physical surveillance on cases can often continue for long periods of time during which an investigator may have to confine himself in a van or a car to keep a watchful eye on the suspect’s residence or office until he obtains enough evidence. Binoculars, still and video cameras and cell phones are usually used during surveillance. Computer database searches are also done to obtain important information about the suspects. These searches provide information related to a person’s earlier arrests, credit information, vehicle registrations, associates, neighbors and more. However it is essential to have appropriate knowledge about your country’s privacy laws before barging into an individual’s personal space.
Types of Private Investigators And Their Duties
The duties of private investigators may vary based on their area of specialization. For instance those who specialize in cases related to property theft or copyright violation may just scrutinize and file acts of piracy to provide assistance in barring such illicit activities. Those who specialize in asset searches and drafting financial profiles for civil proceedings are usually required to conduct interviews, surveillance and extensive research to prepare their reports.
Legal investigators are mostly employed by law firms or lawyers and are experts in handling court cases. Their duties include drafting criminal defenses, preparing legal documents, locating witnesses, conducting interviews, collating and reviewing evidences. They may even be required to take photographs, assemble evidences and reports for court proceedings.
Corporate investigators perform both internal and external investigations for corporations except investigative firms. While internal investigations include investigating the use of drug at workplace, authenticity of expense accounts and employee’s trustworthiness, the external investigations conducted avert criminal schemes occurring outside the corporation like theft of organization’s assets via false billing by the vendors.
Financial investigators are mainly involved in drafting confidential financial profiles of organizations and individuals. Certified Public Accountants usually opt for this profession and are required to work in association with investment bankers and accountants. Looking for assets for recovering damages awarded by court in cases related to theft is one of their duties.
Private investigators employed at banks, retail stores, casinos and hotels need to ensure loss control and protection of assets. They basically avert robberies by vendor representatives, shoplifters, courier/ deliverymen as well as employees. These investigators also inspect the stock areas, restrooms and dressing rooms from time to time and may submit loss prevention and security reports to the management. Those employed at hotels are assigned an additional task of guarding the guest’s belongings against theft and prohibiting the entry of unsolicited individuals. Armed detectives must possess a permit and fulfill necessary licensing requirement for using a gun. Also they are not equipped with any additional powers to arrest a person unless otherwise stated.
Other Types of Private Investigations
Private investigators are involved in various kinds of private investigations. Most of them usually fall under the following categories:
- Asset location: This type of investigation includes judgments, compilation, subrogation and liens.
- Background investigations: This includes employment checks, pre-marital checks and pre-trial investigations.
- Criminal defense: This includes investigations of cases related to theft, rape, murder, drugs, fraud, vice, vehicular homicide and criminal financial investigations.
- Domestic cases: This covers child custody and divorce cases.
- Environmental cases: Cases related to hazardous chemicals.
- Insurance claims/ fraud worker’s compensation: Death and disability claims.
- Missing persons: This covers debt collections, locating criminals, investgating foul play, and searching for missing family members and friends.
- Personal injury: Accidental cases
- Process serving
Hope this article has enlightened you about the important role that a private detective plays in modern society and the career options for those who might consider joining the ranks of this artful and skillful set of professionals.
Amit Sen is the founding partner of Alliance One – who are among the best detective agencies in Mumbai specializing in providing thorough Infidelity Investigation Services among other private and corporate investigation services. Amit is also a trained pilot and an aviator and likes to remain grounded on the days when he is not flying high.