This is my first blog on Foxy Deer, and I’m excited to share my story with you delightful readers. “What do you do for a living?” is a common question when meeting new people; and one I just love getting asked. You see, my job is little unconventional. I’m a private investigator – a female private investigator at that!
Oftentimes, when people think of a private investigator they think of sneaking about in the shadows, sleaziness and secrets. As a profession, it is somewhat stereotyped and stigmatised, but the modern world of private investigation is very different to what you might expect.
When I introduce my business, Miss A.M. Investigations, people often jump to the conclusion that I spy on cheating partners, creating dockets of evidence to stoke the flames of a fiery divorce. They expect me to follow unscrupulous characters about to solve the unsolvable mysteries. They think a high-octane car chase is just another day in the office. While some of these aspects are commonplace in the world of Private Investigation, but in reality, I mostly work with solicitors and corporate organisations, helping to protect intellectual property, safeguard against fraudulent activity, track online scams and even help recover lost money and property.
You’ll be amazed at what the internet can uncover – so much more than an illicit affair, although not un-common! Without giving away too many secrets, there are certain corners of the internet through which I can discover a shocking amount of information about a person. Even the deepest, most buried secrets can be found somewhere, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look and how to follow the trail. Not everything can be Googled, but it’s a great place to start. That’s not to discredit the more old-school or traditional investigation methods – nothing beats a good stakeout!
I’m often tasked with finding missing persons, particularly those who have left whilst owing large amounts of money, or who are required for legal/criminal proceedings. Missing persons cases are complicated and challenging (in fact I’m doing a series of missing persons case studies over on my website www.missaminvestigations.co.uk). Over 250,000 people go missing in the UK each year, so it’s an area I feel is important and I have become specialised in. I work with heartbroken families desperate for answers and large employers who have been unsuccessful in tracking down former employees.
One of my most recent cases involved the search for a missing author whose writings formed the basis of a popular Netflix series – I can’t tell you which one I’m afraid! Her permission was needed to tell the story, but there was little trace of her to follow. The search took a few weeks but after a methodical approach I managed to track her down.
Here are a few details about professional private investigators which you may not know about.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) register of data controllers reports that in 2012, two thousand PI agencies were registered, but many more work without any accountability in place or professional registration. By affiliating with a professional body, the investigator must abide by a code of conduct for ethical and legal investigations.
Being a member of the United Kingdom Professional Investigators Network (UKPIN), I assure each and every client the highest standards of professionalism whilst engaged in their investigation activities. And, and for new clients starting their search for the perfect PI match, this should be their first step to ensuring accountability. Investigators that choose not to be a part of a professional body or association are only bringing down a sector that is growing year-on-year.
The Association of British Investigators has witnessed a spike in the number of females entering the industry during the last four years, further dispelling the myth that most PIs are male.
Experience is important but qualifications are a must. People are often surprised when they learn there are qualifications involved when undertaking the role of a private investigation. It’s not your typical A-Level, but there are a series of qualifications and certifications that are vital to become a PI.
I have diplomas at distinction level in forensics and profiling, and intermediate criminology and private investigation. This knowledge helps tenfold when investigating complicated cases.
Professional indemnity insurance is part and parcel of running a legitimate PI business – any business really. Professional indemnity insurance, sometimes known ad professional liability insurance, provides important cover for businesses offering a professional service or specialist advice. The insurance covers compensation claims and lawsuits after mistakes and financial loss.
So, in a nutshell, that’s me. I’ll be back next month with more!