How Private Investigators Work

Most of you have a clear picture of who a private investigator is, probably from watching fictional movies and books that attempt to show us how a private investigator works. Though some of the events in the film are just fictional, they are not legal in the real world. It is imperative that we understand facts from fiction. Private investigators in Australia usually work for the people, and if you have a case that needs to be solved personally, you can hire a private investigator then you pay him for his services. Private investigators can only gather facts but cannot make arrests.

Anyone can open a private investigation agency. The most suitable people for this job should have a background in criminal justice. They may be former police officers or detectives. Their job is to conduct a thorough collection of information and interviewing witnesses in cases like missing persons, theft and fraud. In each case they handle, private investigators Australia must follow the law. Below is what private investigators can do and what they cannot do.

  1. They can follow someone

This is the most common type of cases most private investigators handle daily. Be it someone involved in theft or catching a cheating spouse. Surveillance is legal in most countries. There are two types of surveillance. Fixed surveillance involves the use of cameras to observe the subject in question closely. Mobile surveillance is when you follow the subject to gather more information about him. This is the information that you will be presenting to your client.

Before you gather information on the subject, you need to request prior details on your target so that it can help you to monitor the situation closely. An investigator should be discreet enough not to lose his cover. If the target knows that he is being followed, the investigator will have lost the case at hand.

  1. They cannot trespass private property

It is not legal for a private investigator to invade private property in search of information or leads. However, he may request an interview with the subject being investigated according to Bill from private investigators Australia. On the issue of taking photos, a private investigator is allowed to take pictures in the public domain and not in private properties.

There is a grey part of the law. An investigator can take photos as long as he is not on your property. This may involve the use of modern zoom cameras to take pictures of the subject’s residence by zooming them closely. This is not trespass, that’s why I said there is a grey area in the law.

  1. Private investigators cannot hack into phones and access bank records

This is a popular request by spouses who think that their better half is cheating. Private investigators cannot hack into phones or access bank records. This is illegal even if you have the skills to do this. Unless you have permission from the owner. The same way you cannot manipulate public records to access bank statements. Watch this video to get more information on how private investigators conduct their surveillance.




Private investigators are citizens like you and me. They must follow the law. They should have a criminal justice background for them to handle the cases at hand effectively. They sometimes work hand in hand with police if the need arises.