How to choose a Private Investigator?
There are a lot of Private Investigation companies out there, In fact it is estimated that there are around 10,000 investigators in the UK, so we need a few ways to narrow down the options and ensure you hire the right investigator. So, how do you choose the right Private Investigator (PI) for your particular needs ensuring that you engage a good and reliable investigator for your money?
There is currently no regulation of the industry by the government. However, around 20% of investigators have volunteered themselves to be overseen by a peer-reviewed body. This is your first check on the checklist and already you have got rid of 80% of your list.
There are also a lot of different qualifications like Qualified Professional Private Investigator and a number of different bodies that a PI can belong to amongst others:
- The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
- The Association of British Investigators (ABI)
- The Association of Professional Process Servers (APPS)
- British Agents Group (BAG)
- United Kingdom Professional Investigators Network (UKPIN)
- United Kingdom Process Servers Association (UKPSA)
However it really depends on what you are looking for and the job that you would like the Private Investigator to do.
The Association of British Investigators (ABI) is a really good one to look out for. In order to become a member, potential companies need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service check as well as a Financial Probity check. If this doesn’t throw up anything then the investigator has to undergo an entrance examination to prove they know their stuff and that the evidence that they collect will be admissible in court because it has to be collected correctly. There is also the ABI ‘code of practice’ and it’s ‘disciplinary code’, which must be adhered to in order to maintain membership status. This is independently monitored by a specially appointed solicitor. This stringent test of a Private Investigator should ensure that they are able to provide you with the best possible service. On a side note, all Private Investigators should have Professional Indemnity Insurance. This is also a requirement for membership of the ABI.
Armed with the above suggestions and tips, you should be able to make an informed decision and make the right choice for you and the task you need performing.
Here at Alpha 1 Legal Services we have all the above qualifications and are members of all these different bodies.