A detective agency is a business where one can obtain the services of a licensed private investigator for a fee. Private investigators are hired to trace missing persons and locate long-lost or distant relatives. They are also frequently used to do background checks on people: prospective employees, tenants, suspects in criminal proceedings, and so on. These detectives are also called upon to provide surveillance for various reasons, most commonly to track a spouse suspected of cheating, or to keep an eye on a person suspected of fraud. In both cases, the surveillance will include photography, video and audio records.
Private detectives are different from crime-scene investigators and police in that they work for private individuals and businesses rather than the government. They cannot arrest or prosecute anybody and they are not accountable for conduct and procedures within public investigation (notwithstanding illegal behavior). Their job is simply to collect information. This information is not meant to be revealed to the public and is often kept private, except in the cases where it may be revealed for the purposes of going to court.
Some licensed detectives are self-employed, while others may work for a large agency. Many work for insurance companies to investigate suspicious claims. There is also a segment that works specifically in the financial sector, where investigators work on issues of fraud, debt and asset recovery. Lastly, investigators will also work for security services (most commonly in large stores, hotels, and casinos), where they will be hired to drift around undercover and watch out for shoplifting and other sorts of petty crime. These people will also investigate theft, loss and criminal claims within the business, provide consultation on security and crime prevention, and will often double as security guards.
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Detective agencies investigate and attempt to solve mysteries involving criminal activities. Agencies need to be licensed and can either be independently owned or exist as part of a police department. Examples of mysteries include murders, missing persons, identity theft, scams, security breaches, and suicides. Some detective agencies specialize in surveillance regarding spousal affairs. Private detectives and private investigators are detectives that are independent contractor detectives that use deductive skills acquired from law enforcement. They use tracking skills to trace where criminals have been or are going. Other detective agencies or investigative units focus on crimes against children. If a homicide or other crime has occurred, the city's police department will automatically launch an investigation to find out what happened. The detective unit will perform background checks, conduct research about the victim and suspects, run records and surveillance, collect data, and get results. Some detective agencies are private firms. If you suspect wrongdoing, you can hire a private detective on your own. You can find detective agencies near you by looking in a phone book or by searching online directory listings. Target your search to detective agencies or private investigators who offer the services you need, whether it's a missing persons case, infidelity suspicion or claim, homicide, suicide, anti-scam, or other criminal mystery. It's best to know your facts before hiring a detective agency or private investigator.