In France, the profession of private detective has been regulated since 2003.
Each investigator must be up to date with his certification and his authorization to practice in order to be able to legally carry out his activity. Once in good standing with the administration and all his credentials updated , the private detective will be able to investigate all over the national territory . This means that for example if the Private investigator is based in Paris he can investigate anywhere in France , not only in the Paris region.
The advantages of hiring a local detective
The profession of private detective has changed in recent years. Today new detectives are established professionnals and the profession has improved in terms of image and methods.
What has really changed is the administrative side of the profession . Today we see more and more overqualified detectives who have attended training courses focused on law and regulations.
This evolution in the field is welcome and necessary but sometimes it has been done at the expense of the technical expertise in gathering and collecting legal informations.
We must not forget that beeing a detective is above all « investigating on the field »
Beeing a detective has many sides : expertise in collecting informations and evidences associated with the knowledge of the law, the rules and regulations is a must . But, it is almost impossible to know if the detective you are calling will have those two skills!
Most of the time, selecting a detective will be done as follow:
- Using internet (Google or other search engine)
- A recommendation (from a parent, relative, partner, lawyer, etc.)
Depending on the case, it is strongly advised to call on a detective based in the geographical area where the investigation will take place. Here are the main reasons:
1: A local detective is familiar with his region
Each region, department or city has its codes. The southern or eastern accent when people talk for example, the driving behavior , the construction sites , the shortcuts are particular in every region That means that calling on a local detective will be a real asset when it will come to conduct surveillance, tail an individual or collect testimonies and evidences.
2: Better rates:
As a general rule, a local private detective will charge lower rates than an investigator based in another geographical area.
If the detective is not based in the area he will have to travel or call on subcontractors, which will imply a higher budget for his client.
Also due to the recent increase in gas price and toll roads hiring a local detective ,will definitely lower the budget because there will be less expenses.
3: Protect the environment:
Travelling less means less carbon footprint. For individuals, this may seems unrelevant or minor. However, for a company or a regional administration, using a local based company becomes more frequent and in some cases mandatory.
Example: When a City hall hires a private investigator to search for evidences on an illegal dumps, they will select a regional agency. Their motivation will not only be the budget but the expertise and experience of the agency to meet their expectations.
Before hiring and investigator based outside the region , what should you consider?
There are many cases where calling on a local detective is not really an advantage, and could even turn into a disadvantage.
If hiring a local detective could be harmful to your interest then we will strongly recommand to hire an investigator that is based in another geographical area.
1: Always favor discretion over a well-known detective:
Promoting his business may not be the best moove for a private investigator. Indeed, beeing invited on the local radio, having articles on a local newspaper with a nice cover photo or participating at meetings with local entrepreneurs, is definitely not a good strategy to keep a low profile . Discretion is a must for a private investigator.
In some cases, the potential « subjects « »in an investigation may also be acquainted with the detective, which could create conflicts of interest.
2: Beware of regions with just a few agencies : Monopolistic situation
If you are prospecting in a region or department with very few agencies , you could be charged a higher price for your investigation . Detectives are free to apply any rates in France because , the rates are not regulated by the administration.
You could also be in a situation where the detective will not spend time on your case due to an overload of work or will have the time but not the experience and the skills.
There is a real difference between a detective who only knows the law and the rules with an expert in collecting evidences. Some investigators know the legislation inside out but find themselves unable being detected, taking good photos or hide for more than 10 hours in the cold weather.
3: Choose a detective according to his skills and the case:
Each case is different , and a local detective might not have the experience or the skills to handle the investigation just like a a specialized or experienced detective would.
All detectives would not necessarily have had the calpabilities to deal with Roger-Marc Moreau’s the criminal counter-investigation in the Omar Raddad case or to conduct investigations in the field of sectarian cult manipulation and abuse just like Benoît Judde, a specialist dealing with those very special assignments.
This is why sometimes it is necessary to hire specialized and experienced detectives on a specific case no matter where they are based.
No set rules in this area
To summarize, in which cases is it better to call on a “local” the answer will depend on:
- the context of the investigation (administrative investigation, field investigation such as surveillance or tailing an individual , collection of testimonies, etc.)
- the type of case (adultery, alimony, non-competition clause, unfair competition, search for debtors, search for biological parents, etc.)
- client expectations (deadline , discretion , budget , official report, information report, specific expertise, etc.)
For more details, do not hesitate to contact a detective agency in your region, or a private investigators firm specialized in handling your type of cases. Telephone appointments are most of the time free of charge and do not require any commitment.
Anthony CAUDAL, the director of Agora Detectives agency based in Paris, has been conducting investigations all over France since 2009. Do not hesitate to contact him, he will be able to advise you according to your needs and study your case with great attention , no matter where the investigation will take place in France and can intervene for his clients all over the french territory