What is it like being a Private Investigator in Sheffield?

Made in sheffield sculpture

What is it like being a Private Investigator in Sheffield?

I was recently interviewed by Steven Ross from the Sheffield Telegraph and Star newspaper, about what it is like to be a Private Investigator in Sheffield. He asked:

Is it dangerous being a Private Investigator?

The whole concept of surveillance is not to be seen. I don’t think people really appreciate the skill set involved in blending in with the environment or ‘being hidden in plain sight’. A good Private Investigator will next to never get compromised. But never say never……. The compromises I hear about are often from third parties, as the agent is concentrating on the subject and can get ‘tunnel vision’. It’s the nosy neighbour, a friend of the subject or even counter surveillance!

Being confident is a great asset in this trade. It’s also good practise to have a cover story should you be compromised. Why are you in that area and that time? If you panic, you’ll give the game away.

Good planning, dynamic assessment and if all else fails, make sure you are fit enough to get yourself out of there without being caught!

Is it like what you see in the movies?

Like the fight scenes, surveillance on screen is often simplified and exaggerated so the audience can stay with it. I’d also like to think that they do it on purpose, so they don’t give away our trade secrets?!

Often you’ll see ‘a follow,’ where the agent has a large telescopic lens pointing out of the window, or when the subject leaves in a vehicle, the agent is parked on the opposite side of the road and sets off immediately behind the subject.

There are lots of tactics that we employ when surveilling. We use various technical assets to enable us to follow, yet stay out of sight. It’s a bit like the Magic Circle, I could tell you how we do it, but i’d be ostracised by peers if I did!

Is it exciting?

Haha, exciting is probably not the right word. There’s a definite buzz to it when you capture that perfect image. Quite often there’s a lot of waiting, sometimes hours. Then the subject appears and the adrenaline hits and suddenly you’re super focused and alive to the moment.

But with the highs, come the lows. If it’s an infidelity investigation, then you have the difficult task of informing your client of their fears.

Is it all catching people having affairs?

Whilst we do get a lot of enquiries about cheating partners, it’s not all we investigate. Clients will contact us about child custody cases, in order to prove their partner is unfit or a dispute in the custody arrangements. We assist divorce cases where co-habitation needs to be proven.

The commercial sector is also a big player: we investigate false injury claims, espionage where subject’s are meeting competitors, fraud both internal and external, to name but three types of investigation.

We also have a tracing service for debtors or lost relatives, conduct background and asset searches, polygraph testing and bug sweeps to name some of the services we provide. Like when I was in the police, each day brings new work and new challenges.

Follow this link to see the article: The Star Newspaper Article 

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