Ask anyone what they associate with the term ‘private investigator’ and images of Sherlock Homes with a pipe or James Bond in a tux tends will spring to mind. For Chris Dent, owner of GH Consultants, this is an image that has a potentially damaging effect on the industry as a whole.
“One of the most difficult things about running a business of this nature is managing client expectations,” he claims.
“Quite often we’ll get people phoning up and they don’t realise that we can only actually do ethical things and are actually confined by the law. We sometimes get phone calls asking us to do illegal things, obtaining bank records, phone records and bills which are completely illegal.”
“Even lawyers and solicitors who know the law will ask us to find out from the DVLA who owns a vehicle – which you can’t do unless you’ve a reason to do so. We may be private investigators, but we don’t have access to everything and still have to abide by privacy laws.”
The ethical nature of investigative practice is something that is at the centre of GH Consultants, with the company having strict regulations in regards to what staff can and can’t do throughout the course of the investigation. Find out more about the ethical and legal restrictions in tomorrow’s instalment of the series…