Who needs a private detective?
A big part of any private detectives work is confidentiality. We just don’t talk about who we’re working for or what we’re doing for them, not even in the office, not unless the person we’re talking to is part of the same enquiry team. That means that people outside the world of the private detective rarely have a complete picture of what we do, or why we do it. Sometimes stories in the media reveal the reality of our work and right now there’s an interesting case where the client has gone public.
Neil Tregarthen decided to hire a private detective when his daughter’s cat was shot and killed. One one level it sounds a bit power mad, but on another, it’s a very interesting story about what the police will do, and what they won’t, and why many of us, at some time, might find ourselves needing to hire a private detective.
The story begins when Mr Tregarthen’s daughter left home to study medicine at Exeter University. Once day she came home to find her year old cat had been shot with an airgun. Despite veterinary treatment, the cat suffered a lot of pain and died three days later. Mr Tregarthen says the police did nothing, despite the case being reported to them. So he hired a private detective.
Six weeks later the private investigator came back with a key suspect – but when he handed the case file to the police, Mr Tregarthen says they still did nothing. And what Mr Tregarthen goes on to say is very significant. He didn’t just pursue the case for his daughter, he claims, “It was for the people whose cats might be shot next – the elderly widow who might find her last companion crawling through the cat flap and dying. If people who can fight back don’t do so, then we are all doomed.”
It’s an amazing and sobering point. Have we become used to putting up with a certain amount of bad behaviour because the police just don’t have the resources to take action on them?
Mr Tregarthen thinks so. He wanted to start a public debate about “…the prospect that in the future, the police might not be able to cope with thuggish or anti-social behaviour.”
That really is a disturbing thought. So some of the cases we bring are attempts to right wrongs. Like Mr Tregarthen, many of our clients simply want justice and we’re here to help them trace debtors or find stolen property.
Others are attempts to rectify past problems – so many people go missing, sometimes deliberately, sometimes because they fall through the gaps in our busy lives and we just lose touch and so we’re able to reunite families and bring old friends together. Missing persons cases can be very satisfying.
So, who needs a private detective? You’d be surprised!