Is hiring a Private Investigator Legal?
We’ve been asked this a few times by clients and friends, and the short answer is yes.
The long answer is this:
In our recent blogs we’ve spoken about the vast amount of training and security checks that a private investigator needs to go through in order to be Licenced. This means that all Licenced private investigators are trained, of high quality, and that they must abide by the laws and legalities of this industry.
But some aren’t quite like that. One of the things a private investigator needs to do is to gain information, but the methods in which some gather said information, can be a little bit dodgy.
For example some have been known to:
Tamper with Mail.
A private investigator can use many means to find information, but tampering and searching through someone’s mail is not one of them. This is illegal, and would never be done by one of our investigators.
Pretend to be a Police Officer.
You might think that we’re joking with that one. But some untrained and inexperienced investigators will use any and all means to gain information. Some may try this method, even though it’s illegal. If you begin a conversation with someone who is a bit suspicious, always ask to see a badge, because you do have the right to ask that.
Surveillance devices must be used in accordance with the law.
In other words, the Surveillance Devices Act is the legislation which determines how and when electronic devices may or may not be used. This includes gathering of audio, optical, tracking, data collection through electronic devices. Certain circumstances may not be recorded, certain audio may not be collected and certain video footage may not be obtained. Should an agent (or any person) breach the Surveillance Devices Act, they can be subject to criminal proceedings which can result in a fine and possible imprisonment.
Needless to say, the private investigators at Down Under Investigations would never use these methods. They reek of inexperience and don’t sound like someone’s thought it through.
So if you find yourself hiring a private investigator who uses these methods, potentially look for someone else who isn’t going to cause you legal struggles in the future, because you, and the P.I could be screwed. Sorry, we mean ‘sued’.