Private investigators are often portrayed on TV as someone walking around in their fedora hat and trench coat, carrying with them their ever-reliable magnifying glass.
Anyone can put on this outfit nowadays but that does not make them an investigator. Investigators can carry out their jobs wearing any type of clothing they deem suitable. The goal is for them not to stand out, look suspicious, or draw unnecessary attention.
So What Does a Private Investigator Do?
A private investigator works on their own and is hired to gather facts. They may get useful information from reliable sources, such as witnesses. Unlike police detectives, they work with private individuals, although they can also operate in cooperation with law enforcement agencies.
Private investigators usually conduct investigations on people or draw critical information to help with another investigation.
Even if their goal, for example, is to find proof to a certain case, PIs are not allowed to arrest or prosecute people. That is, even if they have caught their targets in an act of wrongdoing.
To gather information, they can choose to interview people. In some instances, they may even fake their identities but never with the intention to cause harm. They may follow or track people around to observe their activities and whereabouts.
They may also be tasked to review legal or financial records and verify the authenticity of information or evidence they found. At the end of the day, they need to report the progress they have made to their clients.
They may be hired to conduct investigations on cases related to crimes, missing persons, suspicious activities, theft, or even kidnappings. When they work with law enforcement agencies, they are also expected to turn in or share information they have gathered.
In some instances, private investigators may also do undercover investigations. If you are a business owner who wants to investigate an employee or a prospective client, a private investigator can pose as an employee or another client. If you are a landlord, you may hire an investigator to check if your tenants are abiding by their lease terms.
Once they have sufficient evidence, private investigators may also report people to authorities and have them arrested. Also included in their responsibilities is doing transcripts of interviews they have conducted and organising data they have collected.
Qualities of a Private Investigator
A private investigator is not someone working based on pure luck and intuition.
PIs are fully-experienced, skilled individuals. They can choose to specialize in a certain field, based on their background. For instance, an investigator that has a degree in finance may offer business and financial investigations.
Private investigators follow a process when working. They discuss with you whether the job is ethical and legal before proceeding with it. They also coordinate with you in working out a budget and an overall plan.
Private investigators also know how to analyse and present data. They are trained and licensed and are not fly-by-night individuals. So, if you need the services of a private investigator in Singapore, start by looking for a reliable investigation company. You will then be referred to a professional private investigator in their team.