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5 Major Challenges Private Investigators Are Currently Facing

  • May 05, 2012
  • by PInow Staff

Private Investigator ChallengesMany challenges present themselves to private investigators daily but some are part of the job and some are an outcome of the current economic and professional atmosphere. Emerging obstacles like limited resources and the existence of large national firms are making it more difficult for private investigators to complete their jobs thoroughly and creating expectations for clients that are unrealistic. Below is a list of some of the greater threats private investigators are dealing with today. Are private investigators in your area facing challenges? Share your opinion by completing the poll at the end of the article.

Large investigation firms:
Large investigation firms are popping up in states with no license requirement and offering their services to individuals across the country. This practice can create an environment where clients are not getting the best services, and it is causing many local investigators to lose work.

Government regulations:
Government regulations that affect investigators, such as audio and video surveillance laws, have a large effect on how investigators work. Some investigators believe stricture regulations and laws prevent them from conducting investigations efficiently and completing their jobs properly and quickly.

Media driven image of investigators:
Television series and movies about investigations have created standards that are literally impossible to meet. Many investigators have shared that clients have unrealistic expectations based off of fictional storylines and equipment that does not exist.

Economic hardship:
The existing economic conditions are hard on everyone. Some clients may expect that private investigators can do their jobs using less resources and money and come up with the same results. Additionally, many private investigators are having difficulty finding regular work and are losing jobs to larger firms that can offer low-cost services.

Industry vs. Profession:
While some private investigators would prefer to be called a profession rather than an industry, others believe private investigation falls under both industry and profession.

What private investigators are saying on Linkedin:

“The existence and increased use of "national" firms by the insurance industry seems to be a growing issue . . .The benefit of large contracts with lower rates is an obvious advantage among others; but improper licensing, unqualified/untrained investigators, subcontracting to firms or individuals under the premise of all investigators being company employees, transporting investigators to busy territories with no knowledge of the area, no personal touch/oversight of cases, etc. are some of the many disadvantages. “ - John A. Zimmerman

“We have recently lost a proposal to a payroll company now handling criminal background searches as well as drug testing.” - Barry Brannon

“There has been a massive influx of investigator-based TV dramas (and their spin-offs), and they are all about police or government agencies with trillion dollar machines that go “ping” and find killers from a pubic hair found on an aircraft propeller in a city 5000 miles from the crime scene. Is it any wonder our clients aren't happy when it takes 5 days to trace a cell number?” - David Matheson

“We have to think of ourselves as professionals and many of us don't. The services a seasoned investigator provides are as much a professional service as those provided by any attorney, accountant or doctor.” - Andrew Schmidt

For more on what private investigators are saying, visit the Investigator Marketing group on LinkedIn.

Share your opinion

Answer our poll to share what you think is the biggest challenge private investigators are currently facing.



With an ever-growing set of threats creeping up on private investigators, it is important that each individual investigator stays in the know about their profession and the challenges it faces in order to better themselves and their industry.

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