Businesses are often wary of using the services of a private investigator, citing a lack of clarity around the largely unregulated sector. The reality however is that private investigators can acquire information that inform critical decisions, protect intellectual property rights, prevent fraud, and reduce financial wastage. The question is why would you not for a relatively low cost? Major Cities, including Birmingham in the UK have several long-established providers experienced in the business sector. As with any other service provider you should do your research, check reviews, and find a provider with whom you have a rapport. Look for members of the Association of British Investigators (ABI), founded in 1913, members are vetted, DBS checked and trained to a professional standard.
Here are some examples of the services private investigators can provide:
- TSCM (Technical Surveillance Countermeasures) is essentially bug sweeping of key areas within a commercial building, typically the board room or management offices. The service is often provided on a regular basis in line with an existing security policy or performed on an ad hoc basis if planted malicious devices are suspected. Typically, this service is used to protect trade secrets and confidential information including new product development.
- Fraudulent workplace injury claims cost businesses a significant amount of money. According to the Health and Safety Executive, workplace self-reported injuries cost UK businesses an estimated 7.6 billion pounds in 2019/20. Private Investigators typically undertake periods of covert surveillance, gathering video evidence that prove the true extent of injuries and dispute fraudulent claims.
- Prolonged absence from the workplace is both difficult to manage and costly for the business concerned. The estimated loss to UK businesses for ill health alone is £11.2 billion pounds a year. Employee investigations carried out by an experienced investigator includes covert surveillance to get to the truth of the matter. With increased home working the requirement for this service is increasing rapidly. Employees with excessive amounts of absence are often found to be working elsewhere and claiming multiple salaries.
- Workplace theft can also be significant, often resulting in knock on costs for stock management, security, and HR. Many businesses have good procedures in place to prevent or reduce theft but determined employees often find ways around internal procedures and the damaging theft continues. In some cases, the ongoing theft is so ingrained in the staff culture that it is viewed as normal, fair even. Private Investigators can embed into the business on an undercover basis. This can include them working within the shop floor, warehousing, offices, or the security department for a period of time.
Whatever your requirement, it is worth a confidential discussion with an experienced PI in your area.
Important decisions are invariably easier when they are backed by facts.