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On 31 July 2013 the Home Secretary announced the Government’s intention for the SIA to regulate private investigation activities, starting some time in 2014.

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 defines the licensable activities of private investigations. The Home Office intends to review this definition to ensure that it remains fit for purpose. Questions relating to whether specific activities will be licensable in future should therefore be directed to the Home Office.

According to the Act you will need an SIA licence if you are involved in any surveillance, inquiries or investigations that are carried out for the purposes of:
  • obtaining information about a particular person or about the activities or whereabouts of a particular person; or
  • obtaining information about the circumstances in which, or means by which, property has been lost or damaged.
Anyone involved in providing contracted private investigation services will require a licence. This includes employees, employers, managers, supervisors and directors*or partners of private investigation companies. It is unclear if the Home Office will also wish us to regulate 'in-house' private investigations.

*For the purposes of the Private Security Industry Act 2001, "director" means executive and non-executive directors, shadow directors, parent company directors and corporate entities holding a directorship.

According to the Act, the following activities will not require a licence:

  • activities exclusively for the purposes of market research;
  • activities exclusively concerned with a credit check;
  • professional activities of practising solicitors and Barristers;
  • professional activities of practising accountants;
  • professional activities of journalists and broadcasters, and activities exclusively relating to obtaining information for journalists and broadcasters;
  • activities exclusively relating to reference to registers which are open to the public; registers or records to which a person has a right of access; and published works;
  • activities carried out with the knowledge or consent of the subject of the investigation.
Penalties
The penalty for working as an unlicensed private investigator will be:

  • upon summary conviction at a Magistrate's Court, Sheriff Court or District Court, a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.
The penalty for supplying unlicensed staff will be:

  • upon summary conviction at a Magistrate's Court, Sheriff Court or District Court, a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.
  • upon conviction on indictment at Crown Court, High Court of Justiciary or Sheriff and jury trial, an unlimited fine and/or up to five years imprisonment.



source: The Home Office
 


Comments

Feliza Ann
05/07/2014 4:32am

Definitely, there must a reason why these private investigators needed a license. One, to obtain righteous information. Second, to legalize a formal investigation and Third, this is a must-have-job, only qualified people only can take it.

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jonterns
05/26/2014 7:35pm

Are their formal classes for investigative work or does a person just take the tests for the licensing and get started?

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shaun wright
05/26/2014 8:48pm

Is getting licensed difficult to do? Are there other requirements that aren't listed that would be beneficial to getting a license easier and with less hassle and paperwork?

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05/26/2014 9:24pm

There are now courses that are necessary to take before you qualify for the examination and licensing. If you have been a P.I. for more than 2 years the course is less intensive.

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