Are Private Investigator Reports Discoverable?

There are many reasons you might consider hiring a private investigator. You may suspect your partner of cheating, fear that your employees are stealing from you, or wish to track down a long-lost relative.

Whatever the reason, you’ll be sent a full private investigator report once the investigation is complete. But are private investigator reports discoverable? Could the target of the investigation find out about the report?

In general, private investigator reports are kept strictly confidential between the client and the agent. However, in rare cases, the subject may have the right to see it – such as when the report is used as evidence in court. Read on to find out more.

What Is a Private Investigator Report?

When you hire a private investigator (UK) through a detective agency, they’ll put together a report detailing their findings. A private investigator report may include the following:

  • Subject information – who they are, their appearance, personal and contact details
  • In-depth details of the investigation – methods used and the results
  • Photographs, videos, audio recordings, GPS data and other evidence of the subject’s movements
  • Evidence of any transgressions witnessed by the agents (e.g. law breaking, cheating)

A private investigator report may be delivered physically, digitally, or both. The specific details and layout of the report will vary depending on the reason you hired the investigator. It may also contain recommendations for further surveillance, if the agent believes this to be necessary.

Are Private Investigator Reports Confidential?

The job of a private investigator is to conduct undercover research without being seen or recognised. A good private investigator, such as Global Investigations, will ensure that the surveillance target never finds out that they are being watched or traced.

The security of the operation is of utmost importance. The investigation and its findings are always kept strictly hidden from the individual(s) being monitored.

Who Has the Right to Read a Private Investigator Report?

In most circumstances, the only people who have the right to read a private investigator report are:

  • The client (the person who hired the private investigator)
  • The agent(s) who conducted the investigation and compiled the report

Complications only arise if the target finds out that an investigative firm is collecting their data. If this happens, they could file a ‘subject access request’ to find out what the company knows.

However, this is extremely rare. A good private investigator will take every step to ensure their actions remain undetectable, and that the target never realises they are being monitored. This may involve techniques such as using multiple agents to minimise the risk of being recognised.

At Global Investigations, we categorically guarantee that our investigations and reports will always remain entirely confidential. Our tracing agents are highly experienced in obtaining information covertly and blending perfectly into their surroundings.

Can a Private Investigator’s Evidence Be Used in Court (UK)?

The target of a private investigator’s report may have the right to read it if the report is used as evidence against them in court.

In the UK, evidence discovered by a private investigator is almost always admissible in court, unless it was obtained illegally. That’s why private detectives must ensure they abide by strict surveillance laws while conducting their investigations.

If a private investigator report is submitted as evidence in court, and is deemed admissible, it must be revealed to the defendant. This is called disclosure of documents. 

Disclosure of Documents

Legally, all parties involved in a court case have the right to know about any documents that might have a bearing on the case. Any party can request a copy of a document.

So, if you take someone to court and submit a private investigator’s report as evidence against them, they will have the right to read it.

Of course, if you aren’t planning to take the person to court, this won’t apply. Our highly experienced surveillance agents will ensure that the subject doesn’t even find out they’re being investigated.

Hire World Class Private Investigators with Global Investigations

If you’re looking for the best private investigator London has to offer, look no further than Global Investigations. Founded in 1994, we’ve since expanded to offer our services all over the globe. We’re a world-renowned investigative agency offering private, business, legal and technical services.

Our talented agents have many years’ experience in covert surveillance, and always adhere to the strictest standards of security and confidentiality.

To discover how Global Investigations could help you, contact us today. Fill in our online form or email You can also call us on 0800 073 3555 (or 00 44 20 8287 7770 for overseas customers).

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