Regulation of Private Investigators

The Home Affairs Committee report into Private Investigators is now available from

The main recommendations are:

– Increased penalties for DPA section 55 offences. Confiscation orders where a person is convicted of data and privacy offences and the information has been sold for profit.

– s55 DPA criminal record to disqualify individuals from operating as private investigators.

– Minimum one year between retiring from the police force and working in private investigation.

– ‘Private Investigator’ should be a protected title – as in the case of ‘social worker’ – so that nobody can use the term to describe themselves without being subject to regulation. (A point suggested to the Committee by the Association of Fraud Investigators).

– a two tier system of licensing of private investigators and private investigation companies, and registration of in-house investigators working for regulated businesses such as solicitors and insurance companies.

– Code of conduct for investigators which would also apply to
sub-contracted and part-time investigators, and to in-house investigators.

– Government to consider cost benefit of granting increased access to prescribed data.

– Core of training regime to be knowledge of the yet to be written Code of Conduct and the legal constraints that govern the industry.

– Regime to be implemented by the end of 2013