What additional power or authority does an investigator have over and above a member of the public? Answer – none. So why pay hard earned money to somebody to do something you have the potential to do yourself?
I answer this as follows. I pay my regular mechanic to service my car yet there is no reason I couldn’t do this basic service myself. I do so because this is my mechanic’s core business; he knows his way around cars and engines; he does it day-in day-out; his operation is therefore slick, efficient and worth my investment. On having my car returned to me I have confidence and a comfort value in that a good service has been provided and that the returned product is good. Would I have the same feeling if I had done this myself?
I believe clients should have a similar feeling when their instructions are reported on, however it very much depends on the quality of the staff at the agency engaged. A main consideration for investigators is to keep abreast of legal and electronic developments and the product delivered will depend on what level an agency operates, i.e. how much they have invested in time, money and staff resources in this regard.
Furthermore, investigators should not be simply accessing remote electronic intelligence. A good investigator has a ‘nose’ for the sector and is a good people-person. He should be able to put all manner of people at their ease so that intelligence flows freely. Anecdotal narrative information can be just as powerful as hard fact intelligence, they complement each other.
So, returning to the question in the title. Yes, you could undertake a do-it-yourself investigation but to what standard would it be conducted and would it answer all of your questions? Why reinvent the wheel? Contact a reputable investigation agency and speak to them, ask them questions and enquire how they go about their business. If you don’t have an agency recommended or referred you will have to source one yourself. You have to trust the investigator and feel comfortable with him and the only way to measure this is to engage with him on a personal basis.
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