A private investigator, an investigative agent or a private detective, is someone who may be employed by individuals, institutions or NGOs to undertake investigative surveillance functions. Private investigators specialize in investigating a range of issues, such as business and financial misconduct, missing people and crimes, civil and commercial litigation, and public records searches. Private investigators are also referred to as private detectives or secret agents.
There is no license required to become a private investigator. However, most states do require aspiring private investigators to pass criminal justice examinations in order to ensure that they possess the knowledge and expertise required to conduct reliable investigations. Private investigators are also referred to as Cold War spies. During the course of their employment, private investigators have performed tasks as part of a criminal activity, such as gathering evidence against a target, recovering evidence of a crime, monitoring activities of a suspect or potential target and providing psychological evaluations and interviews of witnesses.
Private Investigators, unlike police officers, do not operate in small units but rather usually work together as a team. They may be divided into one or more groups and each group may consist of a number of investigators. The goal of each team is to gather evidence that can either be used in a court of law or to formulate a case against a suspect. In some countries, investigators are sometimes allowed to act as an undercover police officer.
Some of the duties of a private investigator include conducting surveillance and discovering evidence in the course of conducting investigations for criminal activity, corporate matters and insurance claims. They perform background checks on individuals, including employees of a particular company and prospective business partners. They may also conduct discreet investigations for corporations and other licensed business owners. They can also be called in to provide information that will aid in the detection and prosecution of frauds and other criminal activities. Some undercover investigators specialize in uncovering missing people and may be called in to help recover stolen items or trace people who have gone missing.
Private detectives may utilize different methods and techniques while conducting investigations. For instance, they can interview people suspected of committing a crime through a variety of methods, including telephone and written questioning. Another method they may employ involves surveillance. This involves watching someone in a public place, such as a bus or train station, and recording any suspicious activities that occur there. Some detectives may also use video surveillance equipment in order to capture images of suspects, as well as voice recognition technology to allow them to remotely supervise a missing person investigation.
Private investigators often use a variety of surveillance tools, such as digital cameras, video surveillance equipment, GPS tracking systems and mobile devices that can track a person’s every movement. In addition, investigators frequently conduct a thorough credit check on potential clients. To get information that a client may be avoiding, investigators often access bank and other financial records. When doing a background check, an investigator might run thorough public records search to make certain that the person is who they say they are.
In the event that a Private Investigator obtains evidence suggesting a crime, they may sometimes consult with law enforcement to obtain more detailed information. In order to protect themselves and their clients, private investigators are required to sign non-disclosure agreements. This protects them from being sued for information obtained during investigations.
Private investigators are licensed by the state they work in. The most popular agency is the Pinkerton detective agency, which has branches in Michigan, Ohio and New York. Each state requires private investigators to obtain a license in order to legally operate in that state. If an investigator is unsure of the specific requirements in their particular state, they should contact their local agency to find out. Aspiring investigators should also research the requirements of their private property insurance company before working with them in order to ensure that they will be covered if anything goes wrong while conducting an investigation.