You may not know it, but surveillance and private investigation are closely related to each other. Surveillance is in fact, a very important element for a private investigative service to succeed. Surveillance is an investigative technique. It refers to the close observation of a subject or place in order to get valuable information regarding a case such as cheating spouse, insurance fraud, finding a missing person, claims for compensation, theft or burglary, and other similar situations. This particular task usually takes place when there are events, interactions or identities that a private investigator wants to gather in relation to a particular subject – when he or she is hired by some interested party to do the job.
Is Surveillance Legal?
Depending on the actual circumstances or scenario, surveillance can be legal or not because it dwells right in the borderline between a person’s right to know the truth and the other party’s right to privacy. One careless move can put the job or the entire case in jeopardy.
This is one of the very reasons why surveillance should be entrusted only to professionals – someone who knows his place in the whole scenario, because the job requires extreme care and considerable knowledge of the law.
Although it is often used for evidence and information gathering purposes, surveillance is also an effective tool for preventing crimes and identifying would-be perpetrators of crimes. PIs can even use it as a technique for finding individuals who may be missing or hiding. If you want to locate a missing person in Cleveland for example, you may hire a private investigator for this purpose. The evidence obtained by private investigators through surveillance can be used in and out of court so that particular cases can be resolved.
Why Hire Professionals to Do Surveillance?
Surveillance is a sensitive job that requires not just ordinary professionals but experienced practitioners. It is something that you just can’t allow amateurs to handle.
Because surveillance requires experience and professionalism, it is imperative that you should give it to only to licensed and qualified persons. If you are involved in a project or a case that requires the gathering of sensitive information or evidence, you should seek the assistance of a licensed private investigator. PIs can really help to put your case in the right track through a systematic surveillance and investigative process.
As a professional, a private investigator faces a lot of dangers on the job. They do private investigative work for companies or private individuals who hire them. Sometimes, their job compels them to invade the privacy of certain individuals. They do their job either alone or as a group, but regardless of the nature of their mission, those threats on them remain.
The work of a private investigator is filled with challenges. Some of these are even threatening to their lives. Some of the risks associated with their job include:
1. Death Threats
This is one of the most common risks associated with private investigative work. This happens when the PI, who investigates or monitors someone in secret, is discovered. The danger can be graver if the subject of the investigation is a high-ranking official or leader of a criminal group.
2. Physical Harm
This is another risk PIs may face from time to time. It is one of the reasons why they are highly trained in self-defense. Many of them are in fact licensed to carry firearms.
3. Ethical Problems
One thing that makes the job of a private investigator difficult is when someone asks them to get involved in a case that is against their moral code. It is not uncommon for people with malicious intentions to hire PIs to do private investigation services that they consider unethical.
A private detective’s job is never easy. In fact, it is one of the most challenging jobs in any profession. It takes a special type of individual to survive in this profession. On top of a tough and determined personality, PIs should be exposed to extensive training. This will help to boost their self-confidence, strengthen their code of morals and make them a brave and clean fighter for truth and people’s rights.
Some people may not know it, but private investigators are not granted police authority or power. PIs are ordinary individuals just like most of us and their line of duty is gather information required by their client to satisfy a specific legal, employment, credit and other needs. Some information might be personal in nature but a private investigator needs to be resourceful to be able to obtain these. Here are some of the most common sources PIs get information from:
1. Investigative Databases
Licensed PIs are authorized to access investigative databases compiled by private investigative agencies. These databases contain relevant information such as people’s names, addresses, telephone number, credit header information and public records of persons and businesses.
2. Court Records
Court records, whether they are old or new, can provide about the background of a person or business. Here, a private investigator can dig relevant information about the background of a person or organization.
3. Public Records
This is another source where private investigators can get information relating to a person’s transactions with the government or private establishments.
4. Social Networks
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are places where PIs can get information about individuals.
You might be surprised to know that garbage containers and other places where individuals place discarded items can serve as good sources of information. They are the most likely holders of thrown away items that carry personal information such as telephone bills, medical records, electric bills, medical records and other items that are people throw away as thrash.
6. Human Intelligence
Private investigators refer to human intelligence as information derived from surveillance and interviews with people who have potential personal knowledge about their subject.
A private investigator’s job is never easy or fun. It requires cunning, resourcefulness, patience and common sense.
When talking about private investigators, two things may come to mind: a heroic act to catch the bad guys or a villainous guy out to wreck havoc on people’s lives. This type of job is almost always associated with either reputation or notoriety – characterizations that may be attributed to the way PIs are portrayed in TV shows and movies.
Entertaining as they are, private investigations in movies fail miserably at depicting what the whole work really is. Here are a few PI myths we are busting right here:
PIs live action-packed, suspense-loaded days. Ready for the truth? In most days, an investigator spends a significant amount of time on information gathering and evidence assessment. As these data are either to be presented to the client or used in court, so they need to be carefully evaluated, This, in fact, can sound unexciting, and it can be! But the job is to make sure that no single piece of the puzzle is left unfound.
PIs dress like the mysterious guys that they are. So many movies have depicted PIs doing stealth work and aren’t like most others – so they are usually wearing the trench-coat-and-a-hat ensemble. Interestingly, PIs in the real world dress like the regular guys because they should blend in!
PIs are outlaws, rogue people who will do what it takes to get the information they need. No, they are not. They follow a specific process to get things done and don’t go the unlawful way! They need to communicate effectively to clients, making them regular people who are doing their jobs to please whom they work for.
What do you usually think about private investigations? Did the movies, at one time, sway you into thinking they’re not doing normal work like any decent person trying to do a job?