Are Private Investigators Legal?

are private investigators legal

When it comes to hiring a private investigator one of our most asked questions is: Are private investigators legal? Private Investigators are legal to hire in the UK.

Private Investigators aren’t police, although many private detectives do come from a police background, because of this private investigators have the same legal rights as any other person in the UK and they must abide by the laws of the country they are operating in.

Private investigators can provide a range of services such as covert surveillance, people tracing, process serving and more but if any of these services are carried out illegally then the evidence collected couldn’t be used. For this reason, it’s important that your hire a private investigator that acts legally on your behalf.

A private investigator must obtain evidence legally for it to be used in the right way.

Private Investigators – Not like you see on TV

When clients come to us, often it’s the first time they have spoken to a private detective agency and because of this, their only experience is seeing detectives on TV. Detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Columbo, Harry Bosch, Miss Marple and Poirot are all amazing characters in Books, films and TV series, but in real life, private detectives aren’t anything like them. 

A private detective can investigate like your favourite TV characters but they can’t hack people’s phones, break down doors, spy through windows and walls, hack computers or illegally record suspects.

With that said, private investigators can use a huge range of tools and call on years of experience to help their clients get the evidence they need legally.

Hiring a private investigator

private investigator qualifications

If you do want to hire a Private Investigator it’s important to know who you are dealing with. The cost of a private investigator is often worth the expense if the evidence collected was collected legally, if it wasn’t then not only has that private investigator broke the law but your evidence is also useless and can’t be used in a court of law.  

Because there’s a low barrier to entry to becoming a private investigator it’s quite easy to hire the wrong firm. When hiring a private eye you should make sure that the company you are hiring has a good reputation and can be trusted to do good work. You can do this by looking at third party reviews.

Illegal things Private Investigators can do

private investigators legality

Private Investigators technically speaking could carry out all sorts of illegal activity as they are skilled in covert surveillance. Private Detectives could easily bug a building or a room, hack into phones and laptops, follow someone on private property, look into data that they shouldn’t, trespass on private property and much more.

Private Investigators could illegally do all of the above, but as mentioned earlier on in the article this is illegal and the evidence collected this way wouldn’t be able to be used in a court of law. You also could be liable for any of the above laws being broken as the investigators are acting on your behalf.

Protecting yourself and your case

If you are hiring a private investigator for something that may go to court then you will want to hire a detective agency that follows the law while still getting results. At Covert LTD we have been doing this for over 15 years, our founders are ex-police too so we know how to follow the law and get the results you need.

If you would like to speak to a discreet private investigator, get in touch with us today.

Discreet Investigation services that get results.

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