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Will the Licensing of Private Investigators ever Happen?

25April, 2017

On July 31st 2013 we published an article confirming that the then Home Secretary announced that operating as an unlicensed private investigator is to become a criminal offence.


The Home Secretary at this time was none other than the current Prime Minister, Theresa May. We appreciate that was four years and with her rise to become Prime Minister, regulation of our industry has somewhat been put on the back burner, or just completely forgotten about.


Here at North Court Investigations we fully appreciate that with the Brexit vote of 2016, the triggering of Article 50 and now with a snap General Election being announced for the 8th June 2017, this is understandable.


However, for the majority of the private investigators, some form of regulation or licensing  is an important factor for improving the perception of our industry. The announcement from Theresa May back in July 2013 was on the back of the Leveson Inquiry. Lord Justice Leveson was appointed Chairman of the Inquiry who opened the hearings on 14th November 2011.


The Leveson Inquiry was announced by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, to investigate the behaviour of the press and police in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. Unfortunately since then everything that was/has been mentioned with regard to our industry just hasn’t come to fruition.


It doesn’t take a genius to know that the private investigation industry has been dragged through the hedge backward and then back again. Matt Thomas, our company founder and Managing Director, appeared on the Daybreak breakfast show on ITV on July 31st 2013 and said ‘rogue private investigators’ represented ‘a tiny proportion of the private investigators who actually trade in the UK’.


private investigator Matt Thomas

Matt Thomas


it is unfortunate that this tiny proportion of private investigators are the ones that have severely damaged the reputation of our industry. Sadly, we suspect, no matter what the outcome of the General Election, our industry is further away than ever from any form of regulation.


From a professional point of view North Court Investigations have ensured that, as a company, we will not rest on our laurels. We have teamed up with a professional BTEC training provider, to ensure our personnel, including our founder, have some form of qualification. The decision to ensure everyone involved with our company has some form of recognised industry qualification was taken to instil confidence to our clients and prospective clients.


More information on the training provider will follow in another posting shortly.