Watching UK: A silent explosion of private investigators in Britain
2013-04-10 0:00

From: RT



Private investigation firms are multiplying across the UK: As the technology used by undercover snoopers becomes cheaper and increasingly advanced, the practice continues to grow, with even town authorities using them to bypass privacy laws.

‘A CCTV camera for every 14 citizens’ is a widely cited statistic in the UK, despite exact numbers being difficult to calculate. However, surveillance takes on a much more human guise in the form of the private investigative units which have sprung up around the country.

Unlicensed and unregulated, anyone can adopt the title of ‘private investigator’ as they conduct covert surveillance operations.

“If I want to go out and do surveillance – I don’t have to get any authority from anybody if it’s ordinary surveillance one-to-one,” said James Harrison-Griffiths, a former police detective inspector.

Harrison-Griffiths aired concern over the potentially disastrous consequences of this loose policy:

“There’s a lot of people that disappear – under pressure from people to do certain things that they don’t want to do, and then the people that are pressuring them want to find them, and you’ve got to do your due diligence and make sure you’re not putting anybody in a position of danger.” The lack of governmental regulation on such investigators has been a source of great concern among British campaigners. UK privacy watchdog Big Brother Watch (BBW) stated in March that the current legal framework for regulating the activities of private investigators is wholly inadequate.

“I think it’s absolutely essential that we have some kind of regulation over private investigators – a licensing system that means that we know exactly who is licensed and the means of surveillance that they are using,” said Emma Carr of BBW.

But despite these fears, a variety of UK authorities have been using the firms to conduct operations against their own citizens.

The total amount spent by councils, public authorities and government departments commissioning external organizations to carry out surveillance was nearly Ł4 million (over $6 million) for the years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, according to a BBW report published in March.

There are an estimated 10,000 private investigators currently working in Britain, and the industry continues to grow.


There are whole shops in the UK dedicated to the sale of equipment utilized by private investigators.

“It’s moving from the shadows and onto the high streets as the cost of covert devices falls, more and more individuals are making use of surveillance gadgets, easily available,” RT correspondent Sara Firth said.

Private investigation firms employ a wide variety of people to carry out surveillance operations, leading Harrison-Griffiths to comment that surveillance in Britain is now just a

“way of life.” “It’s not difficult to make yourself invisible; it’s more difficult to be relaxed while you’re doing it,” said 21-year-old Olivia, who works at UK firm Answers Investigation. The firm has been known to employ girls as young as 16, who pose as teenagers doing school projects.

“When you first start, you’re always thinking oh my goodness, they know, I just know they know, but actually, they don’t,” Olivia explained.

“I’m just not suspected at all.” The availability of information – combined with ongoing fast-paced technological improvements in surveillance equipment that can be hidden in handbags and coffee cups – means that although the work requires a degree of analytical thinking and the covert tailing of individuals, some information-based operations are relatively easy to carry out.

[...]

Read the full article at: rt.com



Related Articles
SCISCO Covert Surveillance & Debtor Tracing - London


Latest News from our Front Page

60 Years of Research Links Gluten Grains to Schizophrenia
2015-03-31 1:05
Does the consumption of gluten-containing grains contribute to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia? Believe it or not, this question has been asked for well over 60 years by researchers who stumbled upon evidence that the removal of gluten from the diet results in improved symptoms, or conversely, that gluten grain consumption leads to higher prevalence of both neurological and psychiatric problems. Reports ...
A Sour Deception: Citric Acid Comes From GMO Black Mold, Not Fruit
2015-03-30 23:32
Just what is your food made of, anyway? Try industrial synthesis, genetically modified mold secretions, hydrochloric acid, mercury-contaminated caustic soda, ferrocyanide… and, of course, lots of GMO corn. If common ingredients like “citric acid” and “ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)” sound normal and familiar enough that you practically conjure up an image of the flourishing orchard they were grown in – then ...
Thousands of migrants dumped on Britain as French wriggle out of border promise
2015-03-30 19:56
Thousands of migrants could be dumped on Britain’s doorstep if France tears up a historic border agreement, it was claimed last night. Officials have vowed to do “everything in their power” to wriggle out of a treaty moving the UK border to Calais. The besieged town’s mayor Natacha Bouchart is prepared to spark a major diplomatic row by opening the frontier ...
Richard III laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral
2015-03-30 18:36
King Richard III was today laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral - more than 500 years after his death in battle. The monarch, who reigned from 1483 to 1485, was the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch read a poem by Carol Ann Duffy during the service. Also in attendance was Robert Lindsay, who played Richard III in a version ...
Sweden - A new paradise for Romani beggars
2015-03-30 17:33
Thanks to the European Union and freedom of movement that follows with membership Sweden has been flooded with gypsies from Eastern Europe. Most member states have cracked down hard on the phenomenon of organized begging with legislation and forceful evictions so the Romani (colloquially known as Gypsies) who are engaged in this venture have moved their business to the country where ...
More News »