What Can and Can’t Undercover Investigators Do?
Many people think the appeal of private investigation services is that they can work outside the realms of the law and go unpunished. This simply isn’t true. This misconception likely comes from the fact that private detectives and criminal investigators are not ruled by the same code as the police force, for example.
Undercover investigators are governed by the same rules and regulations as everyone else and are not permitted to break the law to do so. A private investigation license will allow you to go unpunished for stakeouts but it does have its limitations. This article will give you a more comprehensive understanding of how investigation services may be conducted.
Everything that an undercover investigator is able to do to get the job done must be based in fact, with actionable consequence. For example, if the mission is to track down a missing person then the timeframe in which that is possible is made shorter by the amount of intelligence you have on the person’s potential whereabouts. If you know they have been seen with a particular individual, the next logical step would be to ask that person if they know where the person in question is.
Using common sense and some well-placed skills to gain intelligence are the sharpest tools in any private detective and/or criminal investigator’s arsenal.
One way to gain valuable intelligence for undercover investigators is through good old fashioned surveillance. This makes up a big chunk of what investigation services is to ensure any action taken is based on facts that an undercover investigator witnessed with their own eyes. This provides solid, unmistakable evidence that can motivate the private investigator’s next move in order to get the job done.
Undercover investigators are permitted to eavesdrop but they may not gain any information via wiretapping. Detectives and criminal investigators may also take pictures without consent as long as the pictures are taken in public. Investigators are not allowed to take pictures of individuals once they are on private property.
This is the easiest and safest means to gain intelligence that would not otherwise be available. Information can also be gathered via other methods like interviews (with willing parties) and any available public information, like public records which include criminal records.
With the right set of expertise, undercover investigators can gather all the actionable intelligence they need via the internet and through surveillance. People tend to think that the information acquired by undercover investigators must have been coaxed from individuals close to the case. This is often only a small portion of the actionable intelligence an undercover investigator will get. The public would likely be shocked if they knew just how much personal information can be found on the web. In the right hands, like that of a professional undercover investigator, the information can be enough to help the investigator determine their next move in solving a case; whether it be fraud, a divorce case or a missing person.