Services such as: Tracing Debtors, Pre-sue reports, Debt recovery (consumer and commercial), Status enquiries, Genealogy and Missing persons are all identified as, “Activities associated with the provision of investigative services”, in the: Code of Practice for the Provision of Investigative services (Known as: BS 1020000). This Code of Practice is: “Voluntary”, it is yet to be introduced (Expected 2015)….
In the BS 102000, we find the following definition of: Investigative Services:
Surveillance, inquiries or investigative activities that are carried out for the purposes of obtaining information about:
- a particular legal person or about the activities, status or whereabouts of a particular legal person; or
- the circumstances in which, or means by which, property has been lost, stolen, damaged or altered, or
- any other activities ancillary to current or anticipated legal proceedings, conducted under instruction of a client
Compulsory licencing of private investigators is expected to begin at the end of 2014. According to the Private Security Industry Act 2001, you will need an SIA licence if you are involved in any surveillance, inquiries or investigations that are carried out for the purposes of:
- obtaining information about a particular person or about the activities or whereabouts of a particular person; or
- obtaining information about the circumstances in which, or means by which, property has been lost or damaged.
Exemptions from the SIA Private Investigator Licence, specific to the tracing industry are the following categories:
- activities exclusively concerned with a credit check; or
- activities carried out with the knowledge or consent of the subject of the investigation.
The British Standard for the provision of investigatory services basically defines the possible scope of licensable activities that might be covered by the SIA Private Investigator Licence and should be used as a guide only, but, remember that if you are involved in an, “Investigatory process”, you may well require a licence…similar to the Consumer Credit Licence that existed for many years, if you don’t have your SIA Private Investigators Licence, you clients may well make it a condition of your future engagement or contract with them.