How To Choose A Private Investigator
Choosing an investigator is hard right?
You’ve probably never had to conduct an investigation before and you’ll probably never have to again. So, when the need arises, how do you decide which investigator to use? Are they all kind of the same or are some better than others? If they’re all the same, it doesn’t matter who you choose but, if they’re not, you might end up wasting your money AND blowing your chance to solve your case. So, by spending a couple of minutes doing research at the outset, you could potentially save a lot of time, money and heartache down the track.
Are all Private Investigators the same?
Most private investigators are hard-working and honest. Like any industry however, I’m sorry to say that there are some bad apples. Frank Monte was a longstanding investigator who had his licence cancelled in 2012 due to his “lack of moral integrity.” Brett Sutcliffe of Spousebusters fame was convicted of impersonating a Federal Police office while menacing an elderly woman. These are obviously a couple of investigators to avoid and there are a few more dodgy private eyes just waiting to be caught. Some use aliases so they can avoid detection by authorities.
What happens if you use a dodgy Private Investigator?
If you use a disreputable PI, you run the risk of blowing your money. Worse than that, you risk compromising your investigation – this means the person you are investigating may become aware of the investigation. If this happens, your case may become unsolvable. Worst of all, someone may put you at risk of a criminal conviction by tricking you into using illegal spyware of tracking devices.
OK, so how do I choose a trustworthy Private Investigator?
Firstly, you want a business that has been around long enough to know what they’re doing. It’s easy to get an investigator’s licence but much harder to learn how to actually solve a case. This takes years of practice and ongoing education in investigations and the law.
Secondly, you want to make sure the firm you are dealing with occupies at least one physical office somewhere in Australia. This is a good principle when dealing with any business, not just an investigator, because it ensures a level of accountability. 95% of investigators on Google advertise solely from serviced or virtual offices that they don’t occupy. This means that if things go pear-shaped, you won’t be able to find them to seek a refund or sue them. A physical office means you can serve a legal demand on the business and enforce your rights against them.
Thirdly, you want to use a broad-based investigation firm, not an insurance investigator. The vast majority of investigators in Australia only do insurance work – investigations into the circumstances surrounding insurance claims. Private matters for people like you (individuals, businesses, law firms and others) are entirely different from insurance investigations and are usually more complex. You therefore need a real broad-based investigation firm that handles your type of matter on a daily basis. In any investigation you are dealing with the unknown and you never know where your investigation will end up so you require an investigator with a broad skill set.
Fourthly, you should confirm that the investigation firm’s licence is displayed on its website.
Fifthly, don’t rely on the information available on the investigator’s website. To learn more about the firm, run the name of the investigation business in Google. The name of the owner of the business should be displayed on the investigation website. If it is, run it in Google. The information listed on the first few pages of Google search results will give you an insight into whether there is bad media coverage or other adverse information online relating to the investigator.
Lyonswood Investigations & Forensics
Ultimately, the choice is easy. Lyonswood Investigations has operated continuously for 36 years. From a physical head office, Lyonswood conducts investigations around Australia and across the globe, utilising a network of skilled and licenced investigators. Lyonswood provides the broadest range of investigation services of any firm in Australia including surveillance, database searches, missing persons investigations, background checks, digital forensics, handwriting forensics, factual investigations, bug sweeps, forensic accounting and more. Our clients include individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, multinationals, law firms, government agencies, local government agencies and more. Lyonswood investigators have appeared in the media many times over the years and our director Lachlan Jarvis is a law graduate so you can rest assured your case will be handled lawfully and professionally. Get in touch today for a confidential discussion.