Show all

Hollywood vs Reality: What do Sydney’s private investigators really do?

When you imagine a private detective, you might think of Sam Spade, Poirot, or Philip Marlowe – all dark corners, dames, trench coats and mystery. But what does private investigation work look like today, and why might you need the help of a PI?

You can picture the scene: a grizzled figure sits hunched at a desk in a tiny office, sporting a weathered fedora. Smoke plumes from his cigarette, wafting upwards to cloud around the slowly rotating ceiling fan. The hour-glass silhouette of a broad appears in the glass panel of his door; she enters, approaches the desk with hesitation, then implores our hero to help. Before saying a word in response, he pours himself a shot of brown liquor, throws it back, then offers one to his client. Shortly afterwards: car chases, shoot-outs, thrills and spills.


Well, as you might have guessed, that’s not exactly what you should expect when you seek out the services of a modern-day private investigation firm in Australia. What’s PI work like then – and what are some of the reasons people need it?


Hiring a private eye is not like getting your hair cut or having your car worked on by a mechanic. It’s something that most people will only ever do once or twice in their life, so they’re unlikely to know what it is that we do. Part of our job is explaining to people what we do and how we can help them. And we also explain to them that we don’t wear trench coats, nor do we down two shots of bourbon before breakfast!


Our work really boils down to evidence gathering. This evidence doesn’t need to be for court, although we do a lot of work for lawyers and clients involved in litigation or family law disputes. Sometimes it’s just for our clients’ peace of mind. We have people with all sorts of problems who come to us and ask us to get proof. We provide a very broad range of services to help people gather evidence because of the diversity of the problems we encounter.


Locating a person can be a form of evidence gathering. You might need to try to find some kind of evidence that the subject of the investigation is living at a particular address, for instance. You could get that evidence by finding it on a database, or by speaking to previous neighbours. Or, you might actually be able to trick the person you are investigating into revealing information you need.


Surveillance is another way to gather evidence. In fact, we probably view it as the best way to get evidence about a person. You never truly know someone until you follow him or her. Traditionally, surveillance was conducted in personal injury insurance claims and in infidelity investigations, but these days there are many reasons to conduct surveillance.


Locating people and conducting surveillance is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the services we provide. We encourage anyone with a need to gather evidence to contact us by phone or email for a free consultation to determine whether we can help.


If you would like to speak to a private investigator today, click on the link: Private Investigators, Sydney