Private detectives in the news – November’s top private detective agency stories

Who wants to be a private detective?

Apparently our daily work as private detectives is the second most popular job in the UK. When JK Rowling published her latest novel Career of Evil, her publishers commissioned a survey of a thousand people and their second most popular ideal career turned out to be Private Detective!

The only job that ranked above private investigator was footballer – which suggests to us that they survey was largely of men! It’s an interesting revelation though, because it shows how important the role of private investigation has become in the lives of people today. TV depictions of private investigators help a lot, but there are other reasons too. For most people their experience of a private detective agency comes in one of three ways:

  1. Assisting with an enquiry – when we attempt to find a missing person or discover where fraud has taken place, we talk to many people, this means that many people have their first experience of a private investigator when they are helping to solve a problem which is a very positive process
  2. Reading about a private detective’s caseload – many people only know about private investigators when they read how they have solve a case that has baffled the police.
  3. Commissioning a private detective – very few people or businesses ever end up needing to use a private detective agency. At we know that a tiny proportion of the public will ever come into contact with a private detective, but when they do, they often have a positive experience – our professional staff, the competence of our investigation teams and the way we communicate regularly with our clients usually lead to a high degree of satisfaction.

Choosing the right professional private detective

So, now we know that so many people want to be private investigators, it’s no surprise to find that quite a few of those claiming to run a private detective agency are actually not that experienced! After 40 years of experience in private detective work, we’ve very confident about our reputation. Belfast Crown Court has just fined two civil servants for setting up a private detective agency whilst still in work.

The charge of ‘Wilful Misconduct in Public Office’ relates to them going out and conducting private investigations for an insurance company whilst claiming salaries as benefit fraud investigators! Brian McManus and Elaine Copes obviously thought their training to identify benefit fraud set them up as genuine private detectives but it took the police no time at all to find out that they were moonlighting on their paying jobs – in fact, doing exactly what they were trained to catch other people doing!

When you’re looking for the right private investigator there are three key questions to ask yourself:

  1. What evidence is there that this private detective agency has a professional track record? A good agency will be able to share previous experience in solving cases like yours.
  2. How will the agency keep in touch with me? A professional detective should be out working on your behalf, so a professional case handler will usually keep in touch with you on a regular basis – a warning sign about professionalism is when the agency can’t be contacted in normal working hours – that suggests this is a job on the side, not a professional career.
  3. How do I feel about the private detective? You should be given the complete attention of the agent handling your case and feel confident about them and their ability to help you. Complete discretion, total focus on your requirements and clarity about how the investigation will proceed are the necessary preconditions before you hire a private detective.