Surveillance: What is permitted in the U.K?

What is ‘Surveillance’?

Surveillance is the “continuous observation of a place, person, group, or on-going activity in order to gather information.”

As ‘purveyors of fact’ it’s hardly surprising that private investigators will turn to surveillance to get to the truth. Surveillance can be an intrusive task. Private investigators must ensure a deep understanding and respect of the rules and regulations. Both private investigators and their clients must ensure they have the legal and ethical grounds to mount an operation.

Are private investigators legal to hire?

Absolutely. But not all private investigators are the same.

Unlike most European States, the UK does not currently have mandatory licensing and regulations to operate as a private investigator. Therefore, private investigation companies must adopt self-regulation and work under the codes of conduct of respected industry associations.

All Conflict International senior personnel are Members of the World Association of Detectives and The Association of British Investigators.

Additionally, our field and in house research investigators hold at least an NVQ SIA Level 3 Qualification in investigative good practice.

So, when is hiring a private investigator the right option?

Conflict International apply the surveillance process in a variety of technical methods and individual scenarios. As mentioned above, surveillance by nature, can be an intrusive exercise.

Conflict International have a deep understanding of the Data Protection Act and GDPR regulations. We guide our clients in the preparation of the requisite Risk and Privacy Impact Assessments.

This is often a much more straightforward and less onerous step than it sounds. 

I want to hire a surveillance team

We take our surveillance practices one step further. We can provide you with a security team via our sister company, Conflict Protection. Or work with your existing security team to ensure a smooth and effective close protection detail.

In the U.K, compliance with Data Protection laws permits surveillance, subject to certain conditions as described above. It is however vital that you engage with a supplier who can demonstrate an ethical and compliant approach together, with a deep understanding of the rules and privacy conditions.

If you are interested in hearing more about our services:

Contact us at our London Head Office on +44 (0)20 7917 2939 or email us.


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