There are some things a private investigator can do or cannot do. First, a private investigator is a citizen, just like you and me. They must operate strictly within the law. If they break the law, then they must be arrested.
People often confuse between detectives and private investigators. Detectives work for the government while private investigators work for private citizens. But to be a private investigator, you should have a background of criminal justice. This skill is crucial when carrying out your investigations. What roles do private detectives play? The significant cases that private detectives are tasked daily are cheating spouses and missing persons.
They must follow the person of interest and gather some information about them. This may involve taking pictures or requesting telephone records. They must strictly be within the law. They will never, in any case, impersonate government detectives, though at times they might work hand in hand to solve cases of interest.
Is a private detective allowed to follow you? Yes, he can follow you anywhere except in your home. There are two types of monitoring. One is fixed surveillance; this kind of surveillance involves sitting in one place and observing the target. The second one is mobile surveillance; the investigator is following the target around as he or she gathers information.
Surveillance is perfectly legal in most countries. It should be carried out in public property and not in private ownership. Before monitoring, an investigator will need additional information regarding the target person. This increases the chances of successful surveillance. An investigator requires the proper equipment to carry out surveillance. This video gives you a clear picture of how monitoring is carried out.
Surveillance on private property
Carrying out surveillance on private property is illegal. That amounts to trespass and an investigator might end up in jail over trespass. You need prior permission before taking photos or videos on someone’s property. They may request an interview with the respondent, but this is dependent on whether the request will be approved.
On the other hand, there is a grey area in the law. Investigators can take photos and video of you in your property from the street if they have the right equipment, like zoom cameras and telephoto lens. They can zoom images of you in your home. This is legal because they have not stepped into your property; the law on trespass requires someone to have access to your property. The street is public property, so technically the investigators have not trespassed your property. You get the idea.
They can also not hack into your home cameras, even if they have the skills. Hacking into someone’s home cameras system or even mobile devices is illegal in most countries. This amounts to an intrusion of privacy. The photos extracted this way may not be admissible in court. An investigator should seek permission from the owner before obtaining these photos by hacking.
A private investigator is a citizen, just like us. They cannot intrude into your home privacy by taking photos of you in your home. They can take pictures of you from the street because there is no expectation of privacy from your front yard unless it is fenced off. It is illegal for them to trespass private property.