There are a number of famous fictional private detectives scattered throughout popular culture, including Sherlock Holmes, Phillip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Veronica Mars, and Adrian Monk. However, private investigators are not solely the subject of novels, TV dramas and movies: instead, private detective services are offered by a variety of companies and firms around the United States, and have been for centuries. For example, in 1850, Allan Pinkerton founded the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, a world famous private detective company whose reputation continues on today. However, the nature of private investigation services has changed somewhat since the days of the Pinkertons: today, the average private detective company often works closely with law enforcement professionals to help best achieve their goals. Can a private detective firm help you? Read on to find out.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25% of private detectives work for the government in some capacity, while another 25% are self-employed. Regardless of their employer, private investigators often provide a number of services, including background investigations, surveillance, skip traces, and searches for missing people. Those employed by the government usually work with Sheriff’s departments and municipalities, where they often investigate insurance fraud cases. In contrast, independent private investigation companies often help everyday citizens with missing persons cases and surveillance.
Surveillance is perhaps the task that is most commonly associated with private investigation. Defined as the act of following someone to see where they go and do without notice, surveillance is deceptively simple: while it may seem like an easy feat, tailing a target without losing them or being noticed is a difficult skill gained only through years of practice and experience. The same is true for many of the services a private detective performs. For this reason, if you are considering hiring a private detective company, don’t attempt to take on the work yourself: instead, hire a licensed private detective firm to investigate your case. Get more here.