6th July 2012
The Home Affairs Committee appointed by the House of Commons has recommended private investigator regulation in England and Wales should now be implemented. The full report is available to read http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmhaff/100/100.pdf.
The report states that there are currently 2,032 private investigators registered as data controllers, however industry associations claim that the number of private investigators working could be as many as 10,000. Keith Vaz the Committee Chairman said ‘it’s therefore important in our view that we should make sure that all private investigators are registered so that there is robust regulation. If they break the law, they’ve got to be fined more than £100.
MP’s discovered that approximately 65% of private eyes have a police background, it would appear that figure concerns the committee because the report states that any retiring police officer must wait a minimum of one year after retirement before they can begin to work as a private detective.
It is now very clear that some form of regulation is going to happen, it’s now just a question when and how it will be implemented. The report mentioned a date of the end of 2013 ‘at the latest’, it goes on to say that there is ‘no need to wait for the Leveson Inquiry to report back before work starts on setting out the principles of regulation. It is evident that the Committee want to see action sooner rather than later.
Just how they will implement the private investigator regulation has not been decided, there are many factors to take in to account. A great deal of discussion has already taken place between the committee and the associations who represent those investigators who have decided to become members. It is hoped that these discussions will continue, to ensure that those investigators who are members of associations have a voice. The Association of British Investigators have been working hard to ensure their membership is always fully informed of what is happening.