Private investigators are a useful tool for businesses to use in their day-to-day operations. However, it can be confusing to know when it’s legal to hire a private investigator and what they can do. Here’s everything you need to know about private investigation in Australia.
What is a Private Investigator?
A private investigator is someone who investigates criminal activity on behalf of individuals or companies. They’re hired by people who want to gather information about people or situations that may be suspicious, or who need evidence of wrongdoing for legal purposes.
Private investigators have access to resources most people don’t have – including technology like hidden cameras and microphones that can be used to spy on people without their knowledge. This makes them an attractive option for those looking for information they can’t get any other way.
In Australia, private investigators can only investigate matters that fall outside the law enforcement agencies’ jurisdiction. For example, if a crime is committed in one state and the offender is known to live in another state, the police of that state cannot investigate it. However, private investigators are licensed by the police force and have their own set of rules and regulations to follow.
Private investigators can also be hired by a company to investigate an employee who has been accused of fraud or theft. This can include monitoring their phone calls and emails as well as following them around during work hours.
Private detectives are also used in family disputes where one party believes that their spouse is cheating on them or has other secrets they want to uncover in order to gain an upper hand in negotiations for property settlement and custody of children etc…
As mentioned above, private detectives are supposed to stick within certain boundaries when investigating matters related to people’s personal lives. The only exception is when they have a court order allowing them to do so. This may happen if there is evidence that someone is being abused or threatened by another person or if there has been a death in suspicious circumstances with no clear cause determined by police investigation.
What types of investigations are there?
Private investigators in Australia have a wide range of skills and experience. The most common types of investigation are:
- Missing persons: A person who is missing may be at risk of harm or death, so it is important for them to be located as quickly as possible. Private investigators often work with police to locate missing persons. Other times, private investigators will search for a missing person on their own initiative.
- Surveillance: Surveillance involves watching someone or something without being seen. Surveillance can take place over a long period of time or just a few minutes. Surveillance plays an important role in many investigations because it allows the investigator to gather information about what is happening at a particular location or event without having direct contact with the target.
- Background checks: A background check involves collecting information about someone’s past so that you can make better decisions about hiring them or allowing them access to sensitive information and assets such as money or property. Background checks are often used by employers when hiring new employees but they can also be conducted for other purposes such as asset protection, fraud prevention and insurance claims management.
- Investigations into financial fraud: Financial fraud occurs when someone steals money from another person or entity through misrepresentation or falsification of facts with the intent.
There are many reasons why people choose to hire a private investigator, including:
- Personal safety
If you are concerned about your own security and want to check out your home, business or neighbourhood, a private investigator can help you assess the situation and provide additional information.
- Family law matters
Private investigators are often hired by spouses who suspect their partners of cheating on them. They can gather enough evidence to prove that infidelity has occurred and use it in court proceedings as evidence.
- Legal cases
Private investigators can be hired by lawyers who need more information about a case than what is available through public records. This usually involves locating witnesses or other people involved with a case who may be hard to find otherwise.
- Insurance claims
Insurance companies often hire private investigators if they suspect fraud or other illegal activity has occurred during an accident or fire claim. The insurance company will ask for proof that the damage was not caused intentionally before making payment on any claim made by an insured person.
If you’re wondering whether private investigation is legal in Australia, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together this guide to answer that question and many more related to your career in private investigation. Finding out if it’s legal to open a private investigation business, or how much experience you need, who can be employed by a PI business, or which qualifications you might need are just some of the questions we answer. Whether you’re thinking about starting your own PI business or are just interested in pursuing some work as an independent contractor, it’s important that you know the laws governing this industry.