The term private investigator carries with it a certain mystique, conjuring up visions of fedoras, trench coats, and not an insignificant amount of glamour. But when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of the profession, what techniques might a private investigator in Toronto actually employ in the service of a client?

Let’s start with the basic techniques a Toronto private investigator needs, to do a proper job. They should have a “thorough knowledge of research techniques, surveillance techniques, interviewing techniques, industry specific equipment and how to collect and preserve evidence,” according to the Ministry of Safety & Correctional Services, which regulates the industry.

“It is also imperative that private investigators understand how to take proper and complete notes” in case they are needed in legal proceedings. It is also advised that investigators should be familiar with the policies of their employer, which may vary, and not rely solely on the guidelines set out by the ministry.

In addition to preserving evidence in notes and other forms, private investigators should also be ready to present that evidence in court, should they be called on to do so. The six core steps for “containing evidence” are: collect, secure, preserve, identify, ensuring continuity, and log.

“All evidence should be treated as though it could potentially be used in a trial. When physical evidence is presented at a trial, a chain of custody of the uninterrupted control of evidence must be clearly shown; the evidence must be properly identified and must be relevant to the case before the court.”

A Toronto Private Investigator Must Comply with Applicable Laws

When it comes to surveillance, it runs the gamut from something as basic as knowing an address to far more complicated techniques, such as locating an individual who might want to be found, to conducting interviews and covert surveillance. In all situations, private investigators must comply with federal, provincial and municipal laws when conducting surveillance.

The internet is a great resource for a private investigator, opening doors to all sorts of information. A simple name search can reveal contact information, leading to the location of the individual under investigation. Remember though, information gained through internet searches could be outdated, requiring further research. There are limits, however, to this type of surveillance.

“An investigator should not, without lawful authority, attempt to obtain documents such as credit records, income tax or bank records,” says the ministry.

Surveillance can be useful for a number of reasons, including locating people, obtaining information about someone’s activities or health, locating hidden/stolen property, and gathering evidence for use in court. Investigative Solutions Network (ISN) offers clients a range of investigative services, including corporate, insurance, workplace, and criminal investigations. ISN’s elite team of investigators have hundreds of years of combined experience encompassing exemplary policing careers, senior corporate security executives and business leaders.

Are you looking for a private investigator? Contact us today for a consultation.