03/22/2008: "Which industry are we?"
There’s a debate about where private investigators come in as an industry – are PI’s part of “Law Enforcement” the legal industry or are they more like researchers?
Some people lump all investigators under the heading “security companies” and I can see why. Many of our investigations, wither it be tracing debtors or carrying out surveillance to catch fraudsters, do end up with legal and law enforcement consequences. PI’s get a lot of regular work from solicitors as well, so we often end up as the long arm of a legal team. Remember not all our work is purely law enforcement based, we can establish facts for a solicitor to use in court. Finding a husband/wife’s other undisclosed properties during divorce proceedings is a good example. The person you’re checking up on has done nothing illegal, but the solicitor suspects they’re trying to avoid paying the client the true amount of what they owe.
I usually advertise under the heading “security companies” or “family history” in directories where there’s no section for private investigators.