The host of private investigator services go beyond surveillance and looking for missing persons. In fact, there are five general types of private investigators working in general, legal, corporate, cyber, and compensation investigation.
Let’s break down the qualifications, qualities, and responsibilities of a private investigator below.
Qualifications of a Private Investigator
A private investigator in Singapore must undergo special training and licensing in order to work for a PI firm. If you are in need of private investigator services, look for the following:
1. Background in criminal and civil law
2. Completed a private investigator training
3. Obtained a private investigator license
4. Passed the performance module
5. Obtained WOSQ or workforce skill qualification
6. Affiliation or membership with a private investigator services firm in Singapore
7. Good reviews or recommendations
Obtaining a private investigator license in Singapore is difficult because the applicant must not only be physical-fit and familiar with the laws but must also have the necessary skills required for a successful investigation. A PI must therefore have skills in evidence-gathering, interviewing and questioning, surveillance, gathering of electronic data, reasoning, and handling evidence for legal proceedings.
Qualities of a Private Investigator
Although the qualifications are foremost when looking for a PI in Singapore, there are other skills that he/she must possess which cannot be learned through training alone. Experience in similar cases is also important especially if the issue involved delicate information such as child custody and spouse infidelity or when you need evidence to catch cheating spouse as grounds for divorce.
A competent private investigator is not just a highly-skilled and intelligent professional, but must also possess the following qualities: good listener, effective speaker especially when dealing with interviews and interrogations, honest, confident, observant and pays attention to details, patient and persistent even when the case is difficult, creative when approaching a case at different angles, high level of integrity especially when the case is personal and confidential, team-player especially in cases that need cooperation with other private investigators, and passionate.
The job of a private investigator in Singapore is not like any regular job because they sometimes have to work more than eight hours a day, use weekends and holidays for investigation, and work in potentially dangerous situations and with suspicious people.
Responsibilities of a Private Investigator
A PI’s primary duty is to gather evidence to solve a client’s case. The type of evidence and the consequences of gathering quality evidence determines how the private investigator goes about his/her task. The approach taken when collecting data and analyzing the evidence will also depend whether the employer is a private citizen, or a party connected to law enforcement and the legal system.
For clients in Singapore that are not affiliated to the legal or enforcement system, such as gathering evidence to catch cheating spouse or for child custody, there are limits to what a private investigator can and cannot do. Some examples of such cases include missing persons, infidelity, background check, and records or documents retrieval. In cases that involve the legal system, the PI usually works with other investigators to create quality evidence for presentation in formal proceedings. These cases usually involve accounting or law firms, government agencies, businesses and corporations, insurance companies, and law enforcement agencies. A PI who can be hired to perform various investigations are sometimes called general investigators, while others specialize in some areas such as corporate, legal, cyber, criminal, and other investigations.
Regardless of their specialty, all members of the private investigator services are expected to perform the following responsibilities: gather quality evidence or data for the client, determine the best course of action for collecting the data, perform the necessary tasks to gather evidence, offer private investigator services to the client that might be crucial to the case, update the client about the progress of the investigation, consolidating and analyzing data for presentation to the client, uphold accuracy and honesty when gathering and presenting data or evidence, familiarity with the laws and techniques for data-gathering and analysis, and swear confidentiality and secrecy when disclosing information to other parties.
Types of Investigations
Some of the most common types of private investigators in Singapore investigate the following cases:
1. Infidelity. Look for a PI who specializes in this if you need to catch cheating spouse or you want to gather quality evidence for divorce proceedings. The task of the private investigator is to establish whether the hunch of a cheating spouse is unfounded or not.
2. Domestic. Besides hiring a private investigator for marital infidelity, other domestic cases are also handled by the PI because law enforcement usually does not want to pry into private business of families unless it is criminal in nature. Some examples of domestic investigation may include physical abuse, sexual abuse, child neglect or abuse, surveillance, searching for records, security checks, drug abuse, and child custody visits.
3. Accident or Insurance. A PI is sometimes hired by an insurance company in Singapore to verify claims of some of the clients, not because they are suspicious, but because some individuals tend to exaggerate the details or lie about the information provided. Accident reconstruction is also important when determining the exact location, cause, and other related details in the event. This will also help determine the liabilities of the parties involved and may serve as evidence in case there is a court proceeding.
4. Background Checks. A private investigator can perform routine background checks than most professionals because they have more resources and contacts. The investigation involves looking into the person’s history, professional background, debts and financial standing, and other related data.
5. Corporate and Fraud. A PI can be hired to look into the legitimacy of contracts, business proposals, projects, partnerships, and mergers to avoid financial loss and damage to the reputation of the company.