As Private Investigations is a business that relies on making money to be successful, it is easy for a Private Investigator to fall into traps, primarily, failing to adequately evaluate a case before accepting it. Private investigators, when deciding whether to take a case, or not, must carefully weigh their decision before proceeding.
From observation and experience there are some pitfalls that private investigators have to work hard to avoid. The opportunity to increase the bottom line can result in negative consequences if not carefully considered.
When deciding to take a case, investigators should consider the T.A.S.K.E.R. thought process...
There are other obvious reasons not to take on a case such as; the clients' motivation may not be ethical, the investigation can not be successful, or the investigator realizes the client will be difficult to work with in completing the investigation. Although there may be a missed opportunity for financial gain, when the risks are present, understand that long-term business opportunities can be negatively impacted, potentially threatening the existence of the firm.
The ProPI Academy 2019 Blog Book is here and available for download for FREE!!!!
The blog book is a collection of academy blog posts in PDF or Ebook formats for easier reference.
When working on a criminal case, or an individual suspected of violating company policy you need to prepare in advance for conducting an interview, or follow-up interview, and identify a strategy to confront the suspect with their actions. Following are a few suggestions in preparing to confront a suspect.
Preparing in advance can help you during the interview or interrogation process.
Starting the interview/interrogation:
Closing the interview/interrogation:
These are just a few ideas, or tips. How you implement them will depend on your specific case, the evidence you have, reactions of your suspect, and your personal preference in conducting interviews or interrogations.
No industry is free from individuals that choose to do the wrong thing from time-to-time and this applies to private investigators as well. Unfortunately, there are those limited few that bring discredit to our profession and it often reflects badly on all of us.
Ethical, professional private investigators are always alert to conduct that may breach or violate ethical professional standards. Here is a simple decision making method to determine if your conduct during an investigation is ethical. This method is extremely important when the decision is not clear.
If you answer Yes to any of the questions above then you should not take that action. If you can answer No to all of these questions, there is a great chance that others will not question your conduct.
One question that often comes up from students, "Is there any situation where violating ethics acceptable, maybe more ethical?" This is a tricky question as it seems to imply the private investigator is conducting an unethical act when they learn something that is of such great importance to reveal that it would make the unethical act ethical. Our answer, considering the context of the question, is No - we are not aware of any "excuse" to make unethical conduct ethical. Otherwise the action(s) would be ethical at the time.
The biggest risk a private investigator takes when deciding to pursue an unethical or questionable action in their investigation is the harm that may be done to a client. This is unethical behavior aside from the action - creating risk for the client.
It's unfortunate that a few investigators decide to continue moving in the wrong direction when they know better, or are just not sure. When they do, and get caught, this reflects badly on them and badly on the private investigator profession. Any time the action is questionable, you are not sure if the answer is Yes or No, the best course of action is to find an alternative approach or discuss with legal counsel, or other trusted colleagues in your profession.
For fun, watch New York Private Investigator, Michael McKeever, by clicking here, Fact-Check some private investigator movies.
Pro PI staff
Experienced professionals and trainers.