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February 2006
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Sunday, February 26th

Letter, letters, letters and a hold up!


Hi folks!

This week I've been mostly sending out letters. Lots and lots of letters. I've had several people search cases where my list of people to call were all ex-directory (unlisted phone numbers are more of a barrier to communication in the UK than in the USA from what I'm told). So with my clients permission I've been sending out letters to the possible leads. Unfortunately, I bought envelopes that I had to lick to seal and well... I'm still getting that gummy taste out of my mouth! ha ha. rolls eyes

Hopefully everything will go well with the cases (fingers crossed).

I've also had a slight delay with one of my data providers due to computer problems on their end, so I'm going to get my search results a few days later than expected. Only a few clients are affected by this 2-3 day wait and I don't think that it'll affect any others. Everything will be back on track by Tuesday/Wednesday.

Oh, and I've become a published writer this week! smile An investigative industry magazine (read by alot of UK PIs, debt collectors etc) published one of my articles about using the internet and online message boards to trace people. I'm very pleased!

Thanks for reading everyone!

See you again next week,
Andy
Andy on 02.26.06 @ 08:06 AM CST [link]

Monday, February 20th

Good Karma


Hi,

I've gotten some good karma this month - I've taken on 3 pro bono cases and solved two of them, not bad huh? It's nice to give something back. smile

Anyway, that's my good deeds for the year done. As I only do this work part-time I'm only going to accept paying clients from now on. So please no more statements like "Oh, I didn't realise you have to pay" ... the prices are clearly displayed on every webpage where you can use the email form.

I've also been watching two PI related shows on the TV (on BRAVO in the UK) - "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and "Parco PI".

"Dog the bounty hunter" is a really great reality program about a hawaian bounty huner who employs many of the tricks we PIs keep in our toolbox. I really liked it. winkhttp://www.dogthebountyhunter.com . The theme tune is even written by Ozzy osbourne!

"Parco PI" was just abit too dramatised for my liking. It shows a Real PIs cases in the USA but they all seems to be reconstructed for TV and they just look badly acted. It takes away from the good investigative work involved in my opinion.

Anyway, that's my blog post done for this week.

Here's a shoutout to chris who I think is the only regular reader of my blog ! rolls eyes

Thanks for reading,
Andy
Andy on 02.20.06 @ 07:38 AM CST [link]

Monday, February 13th

UK P.I. Licensing


HI,

There's been talk this week amoungst UK P.Is of the up and coming investigation licensing system that is going to be implimented in 2006/2007. Apparently the Security Industry Authority (SIA) want to add in mental heath checks, and that to be a Private Investigator in the UK you'd also need to be a UK citizen.

This has sparked critcism from investigators who point out that to access UK public records at the moment you don't need to be a UK citizen and since the P.I. Licence isn't giving them access to any new databases why should P.Is have to be UK citizens? Then again, in the USA you'd need to be a U.S. citizen to access their public records, so why not have that in the UK?

After updating their website the SIA have posted the following criteria to make you eleigable for a license:-

1) Be over 18.

2) Pass an identity check.

3) Pass a criminal record check.

4) You must have the right to remain and work in the UK.

5) Possibly a mental health declaration might need to be provided.

6) Those applicants deemed to be in a front line activity may also need to prove that they are trained to the appropriate (SIA approved) standard.

So far the SIA have prodiced, in my opinion, a "wishy-washy" list of things you must know to get a license and it's going to be revised before the end of the preperation for licensing process.

This has been going on since 2003!!!! Every year it is "next year P.I.s will be licensed"....
Andy on 02.13.06 @ 12:22 PM CST [link]

Monday, February 6th

PI Licensing in the UK


HI Everyone,

For the first time in histor Private Investigators will be licensed in the UK in 2006/2007 smile

The whole industry is very happy with this, as am I, because it will demonstrate our professionalism.

I've also been discussing the benifits of licensing with other investigators. I kicked around this idea:-

---

With the onset of Licensing for Investigators, I’ve been thinking about the current position of the law on database information and the public.

The public tend to be concerned about their own private information being made available to anyone and the possible consequences – attackers etc finding them or robbing them and the annoyance of advertising to them through these channels (using public records and the phonebook to send out junk mail and telemarketing).

The government seem to be limiting the information, ex-directory phonebooks, DVLA information, NI information, and criminal records to a degree. So that the people who need to access this info for legitimate reasons can’t. The police don’t usually make it their job to oversee the distribution of information to these sources and to manage it, that’s left to the departments who currently hold the information. As far as my experience goes these departments are extremely reluctant to part with it due to fear of the data protection act and the concerns of the public as outlined above (it being misused by attackers or used for marketing).

I can’t help but think that the security industry should have a program to become a “data information manager” at the end of which the person can have access to the above databases and be legally bound to scrutinise the members of the public that should have access to such information. They would also manage access to the data themselves so as to give out only that required (i.e. using them to trace a new address of a family member and supplying only the new address).

This would ensure:-

1) Better use of the information of these databases, as the people who require it would be getting only that info they require and fairer scrutiny over access.
2) A database kept containing the information given to people who you’ve searched the databases on behalf of, so there’s records of who’s been supplied with what information. This would provide leads incase they misuse it.
3) The public would know who has access to these databases, perhaps keeping a public database of “data information managers”.
4) The people who need access to this information would get it to safeguard their businesses and person.
5) It would also limit the amount of misuse of these databases, as at the moment any attacker has a 60% chance of tracking someone down using the public databases to cause them harm and it would also limit the amount of marketing people are subjected to. I suppose the “data information manager” would have to verify the relationship of the customer to the person being sought (i.e. confirming they are a family member, employer or friend (living with them at a previous address).

Has anyone looked into an approach such as this? Has anything like this idea been brought up during talks with the government? Perhaps you should keep this in mind for after the success of licensing.

---

- The responces I recieved were generally agreeable, but at the moment the path of private investigator licensing has been decided on for the next few years at least so there is not much that can be done to change it. sad
Andy on 02.06.06 @ 06:51 AM CST [link]