In fictional crime stories, clients in distress generally turn to private investigators (PIs) for assistance when the information they want does not fall under police jurisdiction. They can also be unable or afraid to contact the police for aid. Such penned down stories can provide hours of entertainment to avid readers. But the scenarios depicted in them do draw inspiration sometimes from real life incidents and even the works of actual investigators.
What type of cases do private investigators look into and how they carry on their work? Questions like this can often arise in the mind of an enthusiast or someone who requires the help of a detective. The caseload of a real private investigator generally includes surveillance, skip traces, background research, or searches for people who have gone missing. Sometimes, serving legal documents may also be a part of their duty in order to notify people about their association with legal proceedings. Their daily activities usually vary depending upon their expertise. Someone specialising in theft of intellectual property would spend more time examining patents instead of spying on infidel spouses.
In order to collect facts and evidence for or against anyone, private investigators do more than just relying upon intuition and luck. At first, they discuss everything carefully with their clients in order to determine whether the case in question is ethical and solvable or not. Next, they fabricate a feasible plan and frame an appropriate budget for collecting the required information. Then comes conduction of investigation for procuring evidence in a manner that would not be deemed unethical in a court of law.
A good PI makes use of multiple sources while gathering information for solving a case. The most commonly used source is surveillance, which involves following particular targets and keeping a track of everywhere they go and everyone they meet. Surveillance can be very difficult at times, because following people without being noticed or losing sight of them is a tough skill to master. But most reputed firms offering private investigator services in Brisbane generally recruit detectives with expert surveillance skills.
PIs also use public records for obtaining the information they need. These records include:
- Real estate transactions
- Court records
- Birth and death records
- Voter registrations
- Tax records
- Vital statistics records
- Business licenses
Many of these are not accessible by the general public, but detectives know who and where to ask. Once all the required data has been collected and analysed, the private investigator reports the findings to their client.