Who is a private investigator?
A private investigator also called a private detective or informally, a private eye is a person hired by an individual or group of individuals to carry out a specific task usually under investigatory law services. Private investigators during the early days provided armed security guards to act as private army of trained civilians. They were also sometimes required to act in the capacity of the police in matters that clients feel the police are not willing to or cannot handle.
Private investigation agencies
Private investigators have been in existence for more than 150 years. Even though they are paid to help solve crimes, private investigation agencies are not law enforcement agencies. Their job is mostly limited to collecting information and gathering facts but they are not permitted to arrest or prosecute criminals. The very first known private investigation agency was opened in the year 1833 in France. Another was opened in 1850 in United States. The agency became popular for breaking labor strikes.
Aside from works associated with the industry, private investigators also dive into other areas. A good number of private investigation agencies specialize in a particular field of work. For example, some of their agencies deal with tracing, some are into technical surveillance counter measures, some known as corporate investigators deal with corporate matters such as antifraud operations, investigating cases of employee misconduct, protecting of trade secrets, computer forensic works, antipiracy and copyright infringement works.
Employment opportunities for private investigators
There are strong competitions for jobs in private investigation agencies. This is expected as private investigation careers attract people from different spheres of life who are qualified for the job including those that have retired from law enforcement and the military. Some states require that private detectives should have a license before they can practice while some require certifications for advancement in the career. Some professional organizations such as ASIS offer professional certified investigator certification.
It has been projected that the employment rate for private detectives would increase to 11% in the next 10 years. The demands for their services have been on the increase as their have been increased cases of crimes, different frauds and cases of lawsuits. Those with related work experience and experts in Information and Communication Technology stand better chances of being employed into the field. The job also requires flexibility as private investigators sometimes need to work odd and irregular hours.
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