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What Are The Things A Private Investigator Can And Cannot Do?

14January, 2019

If you are planning on hiring the services of a private investigator but want to debunk a few myths that you see on the television, then this article’s for you.

We understand if you’re hoping for most of the things you see on several TV shows to be true about what private investigators can do. However, whilst it’s certain that they do have the capacity to help you out in most situations, we’re here to remind you that they are just like normal people too.


  • Break the law

Although private investigators have expertise in gaining information, they cannot simply read other people’s mail or trespass on private property without permission from the other party as they are still bound to abide by the law.

  • Hack into computers and phones

Private investigators cannot hack a computer or wiretap people’s phones. The only way to have legal access is if they have the owner’s express permission.

  • Obtain bank records

Whilst most private investigators have finely tuned skills for accessing public records, bank account details or statements are protected and can only be obtained if they are working directly with a lawyer.

  • Arrest anyone

Private investigators are not the Police thus, they are not allowed to arrest individuals. They can, however, take steps to stop a crime in progress.


  • Follow someone

Surveillance is the best way to obtain evidence without getting into legal difficulty. In addition to performing stake outs, which can only be done on public property, modern surveillance methods include setting up remote cameras or tracking vehicles using a national database.

  • Run a license plate

Private investigators can obtain information from tracing a number plate as long as there are legal grounds.

  • Perform background checks

Private investigators can gain valuable information about a person subjected to a background check since they normally have access to expensive equipment and databases that collect public information from different locations.

So that you will be able to get successful results, be sure to hire a private investigator who has the ability to provide you with professional and discreet services whilst still abiding their limitations and boundaries at all times.

This is what North Court Investigations offer you. Having more than 20 years of experience, we take pride in our proven track record and our success rate that is second to none. See the list of services we offer here. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send us an email at or give us a call on 020 3283 8741.