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Private investigators may do some or all of the following

  • consult with clients about the work they want done
  • decide if they should carry out the work
  • refer clients on to other professionals such as the police
  • investigate shoplifting, theft or dishonesty
  • recover unpaid debts
  • repossess items from debtors
  • carry out credit checks
  • follow and observe people under investigation
  • work undercover when required to gather information for clients
  • find witnesses and missing people
  • write reports about investigation findings
  • serve court summonses to witnesses
  • attend court hearings to present evidence.

Private investigators need

  • an understanding of human behaviour and surveillance techniques
  • knowledge of the law, court procedures and legislation
  • an understanding of how to use cameras and video equipment
  • basic accounting and record-keeping skills.
  • good communication and problem-solving skills
  • interviewing skills
  • an ability to analyse and interpret information.

Private investigators need to be

  • honest
  • trustworthy
  • self-motivated
  • able to keep information confidential
  • curious, with an eye for detail
  • persistent
  • able to inspire confidence in their clients.