UK Private Investigators: What They Can And Cannot Do According To The Law

Fortunately, UK law is pretty specific and pretty clear about what private investigators can and cannot do in accordance with the law, making it very hard for any company or individual hiring Hunter Surveillance Services to get caught up in any illegal activities. 

Provided you choose an experienced private investigator when you wish to find answers to certain things that may be troubling you, costing you money, or putting your life at risk, you can find out exactly what you need to know, quickly and lawfully. Whether personal or business, you deserve the truth, and a private investigator can help you find it. 

To go back to what private investigators are permitted to do legally, the law is clear that they are permitted to carry out the following:

  • Gain access to public records, even court documents and criminal records
  • Carry out background and historical checks
  • Look into social media accounts and make enquiries online 

By sticking to the law at all times, reputable private investigators in the UK can gain access to information which may prove invaluable to certain individuals or companies. 

When it comes to missing persons, how do private investigators find them legally?

Registered private investigators are legally allowed to carry out searches to find individuals who may not wish to be found, or who have gone missing under suspicious circumstances. Whether a missing person has moved away, altered their name and address to avoid detection, or been taken against their will, a private investigator can use the various means of intelligence available to them, to track them. 

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How do private investigators attain background information legally?

Verifying a person’s contact data, providing financial searches, giving details of their criminal history and any previous addresses they were registered to, background checks can be incredibly useful for employers, and in certain circumstances, for individuals, too. Fortunately, a private investigator is perfectly within their rights to carry these out on a company or individual’s behalf, and should further investigations be required according to the results, these can then be carried out by the private investigator, too. 

What about covert surveillance?

Private investigators in the UK are perfectly within their legal rights to follow people, and those that are reputable and experienced, will use their training and discipline to do so professionally and discreetly. 

As an investigative tool, surveillance can be exceptionally useful, and can provide valuable insight into the day-to-day movements and activities of an individual, along with providing details of their movements and lifestyle in general. 

There are several different types of legal surveillance:

  • Static surveillance

Typically carried out by a lone investigator, they will position themselves outside a property and film and record the person (or persons) and their movements at that address.

  • Mobile surveillance

Usually carried out by a team, a person (or persons), will be followed using vehicles and technology.

  • Field surveillance

While not as common, this type of surveillance is undertaken in a rural setting.

Are private investigators allowed to track vehicles?

Using the latest technology that can be hidden in or under a car, a private investigators clients alone can access information gained through the device, and only for the duration of the tracking period. Note that there are many reasons why vehicle tracking may be requested, and it’s only ever carried out with the permission of the car’s owner. With the tracker system deployed, clients of Principal Investigations can check on the whereabouts of a vehicle that belongs to them, but any information gained from this, cannot be used as evidence in a court of law.

What are private investigators not allowed to do?

Some restrictions faced by private investigators are hacking or bugging of phones, computers or email accounts, trespassing in any way, and gaining access to financial information.

If you need help finding someone, tracking a vehicle, or establishing whether a person is who they say they are, a private investigator is perfectly placed to help you get the answers you deserve, lawfully and swiftly.