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New crimes require new techniques

Private Detectives are constantly being challenged by new forms of illegal activity – from phishing to vishing, from cyber espionage to ghosting, there are many opportunities for people to be fleeced, coerced or trapped into problems. There’s a major new area of due diligence following the #MeToo phenomenon which actually bankrupted Harvey Weinstein and has recently seen the founder of Wynn Resorts in the USA forced out of his company plunged the company’s stocks off a cliff.

Large organisations and venture capitalists in particular are turning to private investigators to examine the CVS, and backgrounds, of potential employees … and even to check out whether there are potential problems lurking in the shadows with their current staff.

Why is this happening?

Because prevention is very much better than cure, especially where company reputations are concerned. Especially for ‘family’ firms, with a certain set of values that they need to uphold, the risk of having an employee with a bad track record of harassment or actual assault is massive. For example:

  1. Local and national bad press
  2. Loss of trade
  3. Having to invest in public relations activity to restore trust
  4. Legal fees if problems occurred in the workplace
  5. Suppliers pulling out of deals
  6. Stock prices falling (for floated companies).

Sexual misconduct has become a key feature of due diligence, and privatedetective.co.uk has been asked to examine the cvs of potential company directors and senior managers to check if they have dirty laundry and we’ve heard of a case where a rival firm has actually tried to hire private investigators to check out the senior staff of their biggest rival in the hope of finding some dirt to fling!

‘Social’ private detectives and the law

Filming and voice taping is also a large part of the work of a modern private detective. In a fascinating case, which has been closely followed by private investigators with an international profile, like ourselves, a new Swiss law has been challenged by the public. The law, which allowed insurance companies to video and tape potential benefit cheats without seeking permission from a judge, has been so unpopular that it’s been appealed by direct democracy. In Switzerland, any new law can be contested if 500,000 people object to it within 100 days, and that’s what has happened, with a petition achieving that number of signatures well before the deadline. This is significant for international private detectives who had been expecting to become part of the process once taping was allowed in public areas, and also in private places visible from public places. This so-called ‘social detective’ activity has been rejected by the public who say the law is invasive. The referendum will take place on 25 November 2018.

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