Home Affairs Committee announces inquiry into Private Investigators

29 November 2011

The Home Affairs Committee announces an inquiry into Private Investigators; looking into the case for statutory regulation of private investigators.  The deadline for written submissions is Tuesday 10 January 2012.

The Home Affairs Committee is holding an inquiry into the case for statutory regulation of private investigators. In particular, the Committee is interested in:

  • Why regulation has not already been introduced, ten years after the Security Industry Act established a statutory framework for it.
  • Whether the case for statutory regulation has been made, including the potential for harm to both clients and subjects of investigations in the unregulated industry.
  • Whether compulsory licensing should be part of the regulation and, if so, whether it should include competency criteria.
  • The likely cost of regulation to Government and the industry.

Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Tuesday 10 January 2012. Submissions should be no longer than 2,500 words.

Oral evidence sessions will be held in early 2012: further announcements will be made in due course.

Chair's comments

Committee Chairman Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP said:

Following the Committee’s investigation into phone-hacking, it is important to look at the issue of private investigators. Public concern about the activities of private investigators has increased enormously in the last few years, yet the industry remains entirely unregulated. There are many reputable private investigators who provide a valuable service, but some elements of the industry still operate in the shadows.

We hope to discover the full extent of the activities of private investigators and to decide whether the public, as well as the reputable side of the industry, should be protected by a regime of statutory regulation.

The committee is keen to hear from private investigators themselves, as well as those who have been affected by their work.

Further information

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