What Can a Private Investigator Do Legally in the UK?

When it comes to what exactly a private investigator can legally do in the UK, the law is pretty clear. 

Which is why here at Global Investigations, we pride ourselves in being a very honest and reputable London-based detective agency that ensures only legal methods are carried out on all investigations.  Private investigators are not only required for clients with personal difficulties but also for business matters, large or small. 

What Is a Private Investigator Allowed to Do?

Private Investigators can legally: 

  • Access all public records (including some criminal records and court documents)
  • Perform background checks and historical checks 
  • Investigate social media and internet enquiries  

Private investigators can gain valuable information in the way they evaluate intelligence gleaned legally, which can only be beneficial to our instructing clients.

How Do Private Investigators Legally Find Missing Persons?

Private Investigators are permitted to search for people that have intentionally or unintentionally gone missing.  It can be that the missing person has relocated, changed their name and residential address to avoid debt-related matters.  

We have the capabilities of using open source intelligence and the investigations are known as OSINT to look for these missing persons. 

How Do Private Detectives Legally Get Background Information?

We have been undertaking professional background checks for over 20 years. Our in house team undertake some of the most difficult and varied checks that can be asked of by a client.  Our background checks will verify the personal contact data provided on an individual and will also provide financial searches, criminal history, and previous address information.  

Further investigations can be carried out on any red flags discovered from the background checks. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel the need to find out more information about an individual’s past before taking your relationship (professional or personal) to the next level, a background check is an ideal way to give you peace of mind. This often is the issue when you have a partner check or when a partner wants to do partner investigations, or when a father in law wants to be sure of an unknown background of his son in law to be, likewise it can be instigated for when you are going into business with someone and want to run business checks on that person.


Are Pre-Sue Reports Legal?

Pre-sue reports are, in fact, legal. Global Investigations undertake many of them during Legal and Litigation Investigation enquiries. 

Our team of private investigators work within all sectors, providing pre-litigation reports (which can evaluate whether an individual is worth suing). 

These investigations are very beneficial before expensive proceedings are started and can indicate what a person is worth and what the value is if lengthy or drawn litigation is needed. 

Can Private Investigators Legally Perform Covert Surveillance? 

Private investigators are allowed to follow people.  Our covert surveillance team are trained and disciplined to know the professionalism that is required for all set objectives.

Surveillance is a valuable investigative tool when requiring insight into an individuals’ day-to-day activities, movements and general lifestyle.

One of the most frequently asked questions is, will the target know they are under surveillance? 

We can categorically state that this is not the case. 

Our Surveillance Agents are diverse and have a wealth of experience in investigative backgrounds. They have perfected the art of blending into whatever community or surrounding area that is required. 

Their ultimate objections are obtaining crucial information and doing so in an incredibly covert but legal way. We have male and female Agents available to work both within rural and urban environments.  

Different Types of Legal Surveillance Operations:

  • Static Surveillance – Normally undertaken by one Agent.  They can be carefully positioned outside a property and will be employed to film and record the movements of a person, or persons at an address or location. 
  • Mobile Surveillance – This is when we are asked to follow a person/persons. It is normally undertaken by a team, whether that be two, three, four or more.  We have the capabilities of using a variety of vehicles applicable to the job as well as all the latest technology and equipment to capture the required evidence for our client.  
  • Field Surveillance – Far less common but still required when we are asked to monitor a scenario whilst in a rural area. 

What About Tracking Vehicles?

We undertake Tracking Vehicles for our clients up and down the UK. We have multiple agents working in all the main towns.  We use state of the art equipment that can be covertly hidden and accessed by only our clients for the duration of tracking. 

There are special reasons why we can undertake this work, and we do so with the permission of the owners of the cars. 

The tracker service we offer is a way for the customer to check and confirm where a vehicle is. 

It also allows the customer to maintain a follow or search on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  

It should be noted that the obtained information is to be used purely to assist with a pursuit.  The information cannot be put before a court. We can never offer guarantees of obtaining the desired information when using a tracker as it is dependent on who is driving the vehicle at the time – unless the driver is being filmed.  

How Do Private Investigators Conduct Due Diligence Legally?

Global Investigations is dedicated to delivering high-quality due diligence services that ensure you have accurate up-to-date intelligence before conducting business deals such as company acquisitions and mergers, or the setting up of a new business relationship.

Clients usually make contact with us to establish a greater understanding of a current situation whether it be personally or in business.  

Global Investigations are members of the ABI (The Agent of British Investigators). The ABI is the key professional body for investigators and litigation support agents. They are a respected and industry body and are renowned for their training and vetting of members by their own code of professional standards. We also ensure our ongoing registration with the ICO always taking our responsibility of processing personal information seriously.  

In summary, we are a trustworthy detective agency ensuring compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.  Our clients regularly need to present information in a court or for legal reasons and we have to adhere to lawful enquiries as our clients’ work must be valued and the work we do must be constructively helpful to them. We offer a very varied Service List with the genuine intention of providing clients with resolutions and often that desired peace of mind.  

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