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Matrimonial Surveillance

Matrimonial surveillance, indeed anything related to these types of assignments are potentially a, “Can of worms”.

I have got to say that whilst I encourage you to take them on, especially, when you start off in the professional private investigator sector, for the sheer experience – when you have done a few, you will start to turn the odd one or two down…

Matrimonial Investigations

At one level you as the investigator (No matter how professionally you run the enquiry) can become involved in a real mess, emotions are running high and yes, you are the one to, “Square the Circle” and “Right the wrong”!

Firstly, remember that your evidence when received by your client could start a bad reaction, recently a client in Bristol killed his wife when he found out that she was having an affair. A Private Investigator was involved in this enquiry. The flip, “Extreme scenario”, is that the party photographed might want to cause you the investigator problems as well…

Generally speaking, if you use a tracker, as long as you gather real evidence, rather than just blips on a tracking panel (Anyone could drive the car there – you need to see and record the subject of enquiry), this is, “Acceptable”…

However, if your tracker is discovered you might find the vehicle owner claims damage to his vehicle or personal trauma (Thought it was a bomb, etc!).

You should do matrimonial jobs with extreme caution and always work in an ethical and law abiding manner.

First of all, if we take photos or video footage from a public area, maybe of a property with people inside, then the arguments are that if you can see into the windows using normal vision and the curtains are open, etc, then, fair enough, certainly on an insurance job, it might be acceptable – the ends justify the means (Maybe you catch a chap painting his ceiling who is claiming to have severe back injuries), you are not violating his Human Rights (Rights to privacy/ family life), but, zooming in with a telephoto lens – will be violating the subjects Human Rights. You need to be consistent with all types of surveillance and avoid the, “Intrusion”, accusations…

…ultimately, you are governed by the law and poor practice could mean your evidence is rejected by the Court. The reputational fallout from this potential eventuality will cease your activities anyway!

Other points to consider are, if you misuse your surveillance equipment, potentially, you could transgress the The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and commit maybe 10 other offences, such as putting key loggers on computers, transgresses the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

…………………I am not trying to scare you off doing matrimonial surveillance, but, remember to advise your client that TV dramas like: Cheaters from the USA are stage managed for day time TV entertainment.

Whilst you are happy to gather evidence, you will work ethically and within the law. Clients will understand this and you as the investigator will keep the job under control!

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