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.

ĎA CCTV camera for every 14 citizensí 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 Ďprivate investigatorí as they conduct covert surveillance operations.

ďIf I want to go out and do surveillance Ė I donít have to get any authority from anybody if itís ordinary surveillance one-to-one,Ē said James Harrison-Griffiths, a former police detective inspector.

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

ďThereís a lot of people that disappear Ė under pressure from people to do certain things that they donít want to do, and then the people that are pressuring them want to find them, and youíve got to do your due diligence and make sure youíre not putting anybody in a position of danger.Ē 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.

ďI think itís absolutely essential that we have some kind of regulation over private investigators Ė a licensing system that means that we know exactly who is licensed and the means of surveillance that they are using,Ē 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 £4 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.

ďItís 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,Ē 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

ďway of life.Ē ďItís not difficult to make yourself invisible; itís more difficult to be relaxed while youíre doing it,Ē 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.

ďWhen you first start, youíre always thinking oh my goodness, they know, I just know they know, but actually, they donít,Ē Olivia explained.

ďIím just not suspected at all.Ē The availability of information Ė combined with ongoing fast-paced technological improvements in surveillance equipment that can be hidden in handbags and coffee cups Ė 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:

Related Articles
SCISCO Covert Surveillance & Debtor Tracing - London

Latest News from our Front Page

ISIS Oil Trade Full Frontal: "Raqqa's Rockefellers," Bilal Erdogan, KRG Crude, And The Israel Connection
2015-11-30 21:56
"Effectively, we have been financially discriminated against for a long time. By early 2014, when we did not receive the budget, we decided we need to start thinking about independent oil sales‚ÄĚ --  Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan‚Äôs minister for natural resources In June of 2014, the SCF Altai (an oil tanker) arrived at Ashkelon port. Hours later, the first shipment of Kurdish ...
Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as 'threat to Russian national security'
2015-11-30 21:04
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has recognized George Soros’s Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects. In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia’s ...
Israeli Colonel Caught with Islamic State (IS) Pants Down
2015-11-30 21:11
This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was ‚Äúcaught with IS pants down.‚ÄĚ By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS‚Äďor Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference‚Äďterrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence ...
Uh-Oh 14,000 Illegal Immigrants in Sweden Disappear without a Trace
2015-11-30 20:10
More than 14,000 foreign nationals told to leave Sweden have instead gone underground, with police saying there is little they can do to enforce deportation orders. A total of 21,748 people had been given deportation orders by the Migration Agency at the end of October ‚Äď the largest number in history, the Aftonbladet tabloid reported on Friday. Of those, 14,140 are registered ...
Munich Jews battle in court over Holocaust remembrance
2015-11-30 20:42
Two Jewish groups in Munich are at odds over how to remember the Holocaust. The situation has escalated, and now one of the groups is suing the city. The argument centers on ‚ÄėStolpersteine‚Äô - bronze memorial plaques that can be found all over Germany, but not in Munich. In July, Munich voted to continue the ban on Stolpersteine first introduced in ...
More News »