Private investigation companies are often hired to perform specialized research and surveillance for individuals or companies that need assistance with a case. A private investigator, or PI, is not a police officer but may perform job duties that are similar to law enforcement.
What Is A Private Investigation Company?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes private investigators as professionals who gather evidence and verify facts to help solve a case. The job of a private investigator is often extensive and may include performing undercover investigations, carrying out surveillance activities, interviewing people, researching and documenting the results of investigations.
Private investigation companies may perform work for a wide range of purposes, such as personal protection, retail loss, missing persons, pre-employment screenings, and crisis intervention. In some cases, a private investigator will assist in investigating computer crimes, such as illegal downloads and online identity theft. When conducting private investigations, PI companies must be mindful of all local and federal laws.
Difference Between Private Investigation And Law Enforcement
There is a common misconception that private investigators have the same rights as law enforcement; however, this is not the case. PIs have the same privileges as ordinary citizens and similar to regular people, cannot make a legal arrest or perform any action that goes against the law. Unlike a police officer who can obtain warrants and enforce laws, a private investigator can only make a citizen’s arrest and conduct legal activities, such as surveillance and interviews.
Police officers have the duty of enforcing the law and may do so by issuing warrants and citations, apprehending suspects, and responding to emergency calls. PIs, on the other hand, focus on conducting investigations for the purpose of finding facts about personal, financial, or legal matters.
Common Types of Cases Handled By Private Investigation
Law enforcement may not always have the time or resources to devote to unsolved cases or personal matters. That is why many people turn to private investigation companies to handle cases that require a certain level of speed and expertise. Private investigators have the skills and dedication required to handle all types of cases, from infidelity and unsolved crimes to digital and computer crimes.
Here is a closer look at some most common types of cases handled by private investigation companies.
Infidelity Investigation Cases
When one partner has suspicions that the other is being unfaithful, he or she may decide to hire a private investigation company to gather evidence. Infidelity investigation cases are fairly common; according to Regain, 25 percent of men and 15 percent of women admit to having cheated on their spouse.
During an investigation, a PI may conduct surveillance on the suspicious partner and use methods, including social media, to find evidence of infidelity. A private investigator may also take photographs of the cheating partner and follow him or her from a distance to keep track of their activities.
Unsolved Crime Cases
Despite the large number of crimes that are solved each year by law enforcement, many remain unsolved. In fact, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program found that 82.4 percent of property crimes and 54.5 percent of violent crimes went unsolved in 2018.
Private investigation companies may be contacted to help perform the necessary research and work to help solve these crimes. This may involve conducting background checks, performing audio or video surveillance, taking photographs, skip tracing, making personal observations or locating witnesses, and taking statements. Examples of unsolved crimes include missing persons, homicides, and missing money or property.
Investigate Digital And Computer Crimes
In a digital age, cyber crimes have become increasingly common. Computer and cellular forensics investigations involve the collection and analysis of digital data by forensic investigators. Both individuals and businesses are susceptible to cybercrime, such as hacking and the theft of intellectual property or personal information.
When a PI is hired to investigate digital or computer crimes, the device’s risk will be assessed and the investigator may recommend certain security measures or technologies to prevent cybercrime from occurring in the future. If the computer or device is already compromised, an investigator may perform certain assessments and testing to identify weaknesses in the system and suggest countermeasures to protect against losses.
Talk With American Protection Group For More Info On What Is A Private Investigation Company
Private investigators often work alongside individuals, attorneys or businesses to help solve complex cases or gather the information that may lead to an arrest or other favorable outcome. When hiring a private investigator, it is important to look for a company that is highly experienced, on-call 24/7, and discreet and confidential. To learn more about private investigation services or to speak with a private investigator about a particular case, contact the results-driven private investigators at American Protection Group.