All individuals working in private security are required to have a valid security licensedemonstrating their right to work as a security professional and in order to obtain an SIAsecurity License they must have trained by the subjected SIA course1 and pass the SIA test2 at the end of that course. There are 2 kinds of security licence that the SIA requires depends on the role you are taking in a security sector:
- A front line security licence is required if undertaking licensable activity: Cash and Valuables in Transit; Close Protection; Door Supervision; CCTV; Security Guard.
- A non-front line security licence is required for those who manage, supervise and/or employ individuals who engage in licensable activity. This SIA licence is issued in the form of a letter that also covers key holding activities.
For front line professionals such as Door Supervision3, Security Guards4 and anyone else whose role as a Security professional brings them into direct contact with the public, a front line security licence in the form of a plastic Security badge5 must be worn at all times in order to mark them out as qualified security personnel. There are conditions under which “covert licensing” conditions can apply to public-facing security workers, although these conditions never apply to vehicle immobilisers due to the nature of their work.
Close Protectors6 do not have to display their SIA credentials for obvious reasons the presence in public view of a security individual carrying out surveillance or reconnaissance makes it immediately obvious that there is a public figure in the area. A close protector’s role is essentially covert and non-public facing, therefore wearing a prominent ID badge would impair their ability to do their job. As your sole responsibility as a Close Protector is to your client who already knows your role there is no need to display credentials anyway. However, should you be required to by an SIA spot check or by a member of the police force, you should be able to produce your security badge.
The same conditions apply to Store Detectives as to Close Protectors. As their role involves a lot of plain clothes activity and a specific need to be inconspicuous, their ability to perform this role will only be impaired by wearing prominent identification, and this can lead to shoplifters and other lawbreakers going undetected. The store detective’s responsibility is to the store where they are working, who already know their identity, so the need for prominent ID is non-existent. If, however, a store detective apprehends a suspect, they must at that point produce their ID badge as any court case that results from an apprehension could be compromised by failure to do so. Again, if required to as part of a spot check, you should be able to produce your security licence at all times. This is so that not every member of the public can follow individuals around and then explain their actions by claiming to be a detective.
Vehicle Immobilisers are not ever allowed to operate without their credentials on display. Any attempt to appear inconspicuous in order to hide their identity as a Vehicle Immobiliser could leave them and their employer open to claims of entrapment. Furthermore, a visible security presence could add the extra layer of credibility to parking restrictions that stops individuals from parking wherever they wish. It is important that this is followed as best practice, because a Vehicle Immobiliser’s role is not to see to it that more vehicles get clamped, but that parking restrictions are followed to the letter. A visible wheel clamper is one way to make this far more likely. Public Space Surveillance professionals and Key Holders are not required by SIA regulations to wear their Security badge at all times.
It may be preferable that they do, as the possibility of them needing to be involved in some capacity when a security issue arises means that they could be put in a position where their credentials need to be verified. This can be achieved without any hold-up if they wear the badge prominently but, as non-front line security professionals, there is no immediate pressure that they do so. The most significant reason for prominently displaying security ID is that you can be recognised as a security professional by members of the public, and Key Holders and PSS professionals are not public-facing. Whatever your standpoint, there are reasons why wearing your security badge should be a simple choice. For a start, you’ve worked for it so why not show how proud you are to have gained it? There is no doubt that if degree certificates came in badge form, the average graduate would pin theirs on happily. Secondly, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that a visible security presence is more effective as a prevention mechanism than any curative step taken when violence has just commenced or is just about to.
Thirdly, the very real chance that you could be subject to a spot check, with potential repercussions for not conforming to SIA regulations, should make you think twice before going to work without your badge prominently displayed. Whether it be pride, strategy or self-preservation, the wearing of an SIA badge7 is a non-negotiable part of any public-facing security professional’s job. The carrying of a badge is compulsory and having earned the badge it seems only right to use it.
It will make your job easier, your life easier and will be what marks you out as a qualified professional in the security industry.
Book your Security Licence Training courses8 with Get Licensed today and get a security license9 to work legally and effectively as a Door Supervisor, Security Guard or CCTV Operator and look to advance your career in the security industry.
Call us on 0845 848 7074 or
- ^ SIA course (www.get-licensed.co.uk)
- ^ SIA test (www.get-licensed.co.uk)
- ^ Door Supervision (www.get-licensed.co.uk)
- ^ Security Guards (www.get-licensed.co.uk)
- ^ Security badge (www.get-licensed.co.uk)
- ^ Close Protectors (www.get-licensed.co.uk)
- ^ SIA badge (www.get-licensed.co.uk)
- ^ Security Licence Training courses (www.get-licensed.co.uk)
- ^ get a security license (www.get-licensed.co.uk)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For the 1982 song by Dire Straits, see Private Investigations. A 1904 illustration of Sherlock Holmes, arguably the world’s most famous fictional private detective
A private investigator (often abbreviated to PI and informally called a private eye), a private detective, or inquiry agent, is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services. Private detectives/investigators often work for attorneys in civil and criminal cases.
In 1833, Eug ne Fran ois Vidocq, a French soldier, criminal, and privateer, founded the first known private detective agency, “Le Bureau des Renseignements Universels pour le commerce et l’Industrie”1 (“The Office of Universal Information For Commerce and Industry”) and hired ex-convicts. Official law enforcement tried many times to shut it down. In 1842, police arrested him in suspicion of unlawful imprisonment and taking money on false pretences after he had solved an embezzlement case. Vidocq later suspected that it had been a set-up. He was sentenced for five years with a 3,000-franc fine, but the Court of Appeals released him. Vidocq is credited with having introduced record-keeping, criminology, and ballistics to criminal investigation. He made the first plaster casts of shoe impressions. He created indelible ink and unalterable bond paper with his printing company.
After Vidocq, the industry was born. Much of what private investigators did in the early days was to act as the police in matters for which their clients felt the police were not equipped or willing to do. A larger role for this new private investigative industry was to assist companies in labor disputes. Some early private investigators provided armed guards to act as a private militia.2
In the United Kingdom, Charles Frederick Field set up an enquiry office upon his retirement from the Metropolitan Police in 1852. Field became a friend of Charles Dickens, and the latter wrote articles about him. In 1862, one of his employees, the Hungarian Ignatius Paul Pollaky, left him and set up a rival agency. Although little-remembered today, Pollaky’s fame at the time was such that he was mentioned in various books of the 1870s and immortalized as “Paddington” Pollaky for his “keen penetration” in the 1881 comic opera, Patience.
In the United States, Allan Pinkerton established the Pinkerton National Detective Agency – a private detective agency – in 1850. Pinkerton became famous when he foiled a plot to assassinate then President-elect Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Pinkerton’s agents performed services which ranged from undercover investigations and detection of crimes, to plant protection and armed security. It is sometimes claimed, probably with exaggeration, that at the height of its existence, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more agents than the United States Army.2 Allan Pinkerton hired Kate Warne in 1856 as a private detective, making her the first female private detective in America.3
During the union unrest in the US in the late 19th century, companies sometimes hired operatives and armed guards from the Pinkertons. In the aftermath of the Homestead Riot of 1892, several states passed so-called “anti-Pinkerton” laws restricting the importation of private security guards during union strikes. The federal Anti-Pinkerton Act of 1893 continues to prohibit an “individual employed by the Pinkerton Detective Agency, or similar organization” from being employed by “the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia.”24
Pinkerton agents were also hired to track western outlaws Jesse James, the Reno brothers, and the Wild Bunch, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The Pinkerton agency’s logo, an eye embellished with the words “We Never Sleep”, inspired the term “private eye”.5
Many private detectives/investigators with specialized academic and practical experience also work with defense attorneys on capital punishment and other criminal defense cases. Many others are insurance investigators who investigate suspicious claims.
Before the advent of no-fault divorce, many private investigators were hired to search out evidence of adultery or other conduct within marriage to establish grounds for a divorce. Despite the lack of legal necessity for such evidence in many jurisdictions, according to press reports, collecting evidence of adultery or other “bad behaviour” by spouses and partners is still one of the most profitable activities investigators undertake, as the stakes being fought over now are child custody, alimony, or marital property disputes.2
Private investigators can also be used to perform due diligence for an investor who may be considering investing money with an investment group, fund manager, or other high-risk business or investment venture. This could serve to help the prospective investor avoid being the victim of a fraud or Ponzi scheme. By hiring a licensed and experienced investigator, they could unearth information that the investment is risky and or that the investor has suspicious red flags in his or her background. This is called investigative due diligence, and is becoming much more prevalent in the 21st century with the public reports of large-scale Ponzi schemes and fraudulent investment vehicles such as Madoff, Stanford, Petters, Rothstein, and the hundreds of others reported by the SEC and other law-enforcement agencies.
Private investigators also engage in a large variety of work not usually associated with the industry in the mind of the public. For example, many are involved in process serving, the personal delivery of summons, subpoenas, and other legal documents to parties in a legal case. The tracing of absconding debtors can also form a large part of a PI’s work load. Many agencies specialize in a particular field of expertise. For example, some PI agencies deal only in tracing.
A handful of firms specialize in technical surveillance counter-measures, sometimes called electronic counter measures, which is the locating and dealing with unwanted forms of electronic surveillance (for example, a bugged boardroom for industrial espionage purposes). This niche service is typically conducted by those with backgrounds in intelligence/counterintelligence, executive protection, and a small number from law enforcement entities whose duties included the covert installation of eavesdropping devices as a tool in organized crime, terrorism and narco-trafficking investigations. Other PIs, also known as corporate investigators, specialize in corporate matters, including antifraud work, loss prevention, internal investigations of employee misconduct (such as EEO violations and sexual harassment), the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets, antipiracy, copyright infringement investigations, due diligence investigations, malware and cyber criminal activity, and computer forensics work. Some PIs act as professional witnesses where they observe situations with a view to reporting the actions or lack of them to a court or to gather evidence in antisocial behavior.2
An undercover investigator, undercover detective, or undercover agent is a person who conducts investigations of suspected or confirmed criminal activity while impersonating a disinterested third party. Undercover investigators often infiltrate a suspected insurgent group, posing as a person interested in purchasing illegal goods or services with the ultimate aim of obtaining information about their assigned target.6
Many undercover investigators carry hidden cameras and recorders strapped to their bodies to help them document their investigations. The period of the investigation could last for several months, or in some extreme cases, years. Due to the dangerous nature of the job, their real identities are kept secret throughout their active careers.7 Economic investigations, business intelligence and information on competitors, security advice, special security services information, criminal investigation, investigations background, and profile polygraph tests are all typical examples of such a role.
Across the world
Many jurisdictions require PIs to be licensed. Depending on local laws, they may or may not carry a firearm, some are former law enforcement agents (including former police officers), some are former spies, some are former military, some used to work for a private military company, and some are former bodyguards and security guards. While PIs may investigate criminal matters, most do not have police authority, and as such, they are only limited to the powers of citizen’s arrest and detainment that any other citizen has. They are expected to keep detailed notes and to be prepared to testify in court regarding any of their observations on behalf of their clients. Great care is required to remain within the scope of the law, otherwise the investigator may face criminal charges. Irregular hours may also be required when performing surveillance work.2
Private investigators in Australia must be licensed by the licensing authority relevant to the state where they are located. This applies to all states except the Australian Capital Territory. Companies offering investigation services must also hold a business licence and all their operatives must hold individual licences. Generally, the licences are administered and regulated by the state police; however, in some states, this can also be managed by other government agencies.
To become registered in New South Wales requires a CAPI licence, which can be applied for through the NSW Police Force website. The Australian Capital Territory does not require PIs to be licensed, although they are still bound by legislation. PIs working in the ACT cannot enter the NSW area without a CAPI license, else they will be in breach of the law.
In 2001, the government passed the licensing of private investigators and private investigation firms in the UK over to the Security Industry Authority (SIA), which acted as the regulatory body from then on. However, due to the cutbacks of this agency, licensing of private investigators in the UK was halted indefinitely. At present, no government-backed authorities in the UK license private investigators.
The SIA have announced that PIs in the UK were to become licensed for the first time from May 2015, but this is only the scheduled date for the issue to be discussed in parliament. In December 2014, Corporate Livewire produced an article written by a UK private investigator at BAR Investigations, addressing the issues surrounding private investigation in the UK.89
Private investigators in the United States are licensed or registered by the professional licensing authority or state police of the state where they are located. Licensing varies from state to state, and can range from just applying for a city business license in three states (Idaho, Mississippi and South Dakota, which have no state or local licensing requirements) to needing several years of experience and licensing-related training classes and testing in other states (such as Virginia, which has some of the highest standards in the country). In general, companies offering investigation services must hold an agency license, and all of their investigators or detectives must hold individual licenses or registrations. A few reciprocity agreements allow a detective working in one state to continue his work in another for a limited time without getting a separate license, but not all states participate in these agreements.10
Main article: Detective fiction
Notable private investigators
- Sherlock Holmes
- Byomkesh Bakshi
- Hercule Poirot
- Three Investigators
- Tin Goyenda
- The Hardy Boys
- Thomas Magnum
- Philip Marlowe
- Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
- Lew Archer
- Richard Castle
- Harry Dresden
- Jessica Jones
- Veronica Mars
- Kinsey Millhone
- Jim Rockford
- Sam Spade
- Shawn Spencer
- Spenser (character)
- Cormoran Strike
- Varg Veum
- V. I. Warshawski
- Nero Wolfe
- L (Death Note)
- ^ Historique des d tectives et enqu teurs priv s et grandes dates de la profession “Le Bureau des Renseignements Universels pour le commerce et l’Industrie
- ^ a b c d e f g “Private Detectives and Investigators”. United States Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition.
- ^ “Kate Warne America’s First female Private-Eye”. Pimall.com. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
- ^ 5 U.S. Code 3108; Public Law 89-554, 80 Stat.
416 (1966); ch.
208 (5th par. under “Public Buildings”), 27 Stat.
591 (1893). The U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in U.S. ex rel. Weinberger v. Equifax, 557 F.2d 456 (5th Cir.
1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S.
1035 (1978), held that “The purpose of the Act and the legislative history reveal that an organization was ‘similar’ to the Pinkerton Detective Agency only if it offered for hire mercenary, quasi-military forces as strikebreakers and armed guards. It had the secondary effect of deterring any other organization from providing such services lest it be branded a ‘similar organization.'” 557 F.2d at 462; see also “GAO Decision B-298370; B-298490, Brian X. Scott (Aug.
- ^ “Pinkertons”. Tom-horn.com. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
- ^ “What does an Undercover Detective do? (with pictures)”. Wisegeekedu.com.
2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
- ^ “Gun Show : Undercover : Report on Illegal Sales at Gun Shows” (PDF). Nyc.gov.
- ^ “Regulation of Private Investigations”. Sia.homeoffice.gov.uk. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
- ^ “Top Stories”.
2014-12-17. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
- ^ “Private Investigator License Requirements”. privateinvestigatoredu.org.
Media related to Private investigators at Wikimedia Commons
Public health surveillance is the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data needed for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice.
Such surveillance can:
- serve as an early warning system for impending public health emergencies;
- document the impact of an intervention, or track progress towards specified goals; and
- monitor and clarify the epidemiology of health problems, to allow priorities to be set and to inform public health policy and strategies.