Why should I hire a private investigator and what can they do that I can’t?

At Private Detective Manchester we often get asked what a private investigator does, and why a professional private detective is a better bet than doing your own investigations. Here are some of the questions we answer regularly for our investigation clients.


How do private detectives find out information I can’t find myself?

There are a number of ways this can be done. There are subscription databases not available to the general public, there is the private detective’s own network and contacts who may share information with him or her that they wouldn’t give to others and there is the large role that on-the-ground investigation plays in uncovering facts and exploring leads.  Above all though, private investigators have the training and experience to look at information and see a pattern that can be pursued to a successful conclusion.

Why should I hire a private investigator and what can they do that I can’t

Why is it better to use a recognised private detective agency?

A professional private investigator with a substantial track record in successful cases will be a real advantage in a number of ways. First, that detective’s evidence-gathering, and if necessary court testimony, will be invaluable. Their reputation will back up your case and support you arguments. Second, a top-class private detective will have a huge network of contacts and colleagues they can call on to support your case. These two reasons alone make it vital to know who is handling your case – inferior agencies outsource their work to private detectives who have little or no training or experience, leading to inadmissible evidence and no ability to investigate your concerns on a professional level. We only work with our in-house team, whose skills are high and whose probity is unmatched.


What can’t my private detective do?

Although we may have the ability to access information not available to the average person and although our surveillance and counter-surveillance skills are exceptional, there are still things we can’t do, even though TV detectives do them all the time!

We can’t:

  • Pretend to be policemen or members of the emergency services
  • Tap phones 
  • Obtain phone, bank or computer records by lying or hacking
  • Trespass on private property.


Will my investigator just repeat the police investigation?

No. The police have one way of working and private detectives have another. Police officers, for example, may have a number of cases at a time and must divide their hours between them all. An experienced private detective will be working on your case with focus and commitment, not side-tracked to do paperwork or even forced to take annual leave in the middle of a complex investigation or surveillance!


Will my private detective be legal?

Absolutely yes.We ensure that all our investigations comply with the law in every regard in whatever country and jurisdiction our private detectives find themselves in.

What can a Private Detective do for you that a Tracing Agency can’t?

If you need to trace a person, then logically a tracing agency might seem like your best choice.

However, most tracing agencies operate a “no trace – no fee” service. 

While that may seem like a good deal, there’s one problem. 

That deal gives the tracing agency a very real incentive to provide you with information quickly. And that means any information. 

If they find an address, that means their job is done. 

They have no reason to check if the person is actually at that address or to make further enquiries. 

They’ve provided an address. They get their fee.

If they don’t find an address easily, then no fee, no problem.

Frequently asked questions PDL

Private detectives don’t work that way. 

At Private Detective Manchester, we have access to the same databases, we have the same skill sets, but there’s a difference.  We do real research, we find information, we check that information, we check it again and then we make enquiries. In person. 

Even if that means conducting covert enquiries, which could prove personally dangerous. We don’t stop looking until find the person you’re looking for. In person.


It’s a service that goes much further than your average tracing agency is prepared and equipped to go.


Case Studies

Traced, located, served.

We often work on behalf of law firms looking for defendants in serious matters. In these matters, a successful trace, achieved quickly is crucial.

In this particular case, we ran a database search and quickly discovered an address for the person in question. Of course, at this point most tracing agencies would have considered their job done and simply submitted a report. However, upon checking the information, we learnt that subject of the investigation had moved on several weeks ago. So we continued our search, resulting in a positive trace. 

We then made further enquires, negotiated with our contacts and upon locating the subject, we served that subject with our client’s documents. 

Only then did we consider our work done.


Family Reunited.

Sometimes our work has a real happy ending.

We recently acted on behalf of a client in Australia who had not seen his sister for over 30 years. In fact, the last address could give us was the old family home and he could not even recall her date of birth.  

Here, tracing the person we were looking for involved accessing records, applying for quite sensitive information and making real in depth enquiries. Something tracing agencies often seem to find too difficult. 

Following extensive investigations, we actually met with our client’s sister in person. We then agreed with our client that we would ask if she did in fact want to make contact. 

The sister was delighted, our private detective called the client and handed over the ‘phone. At that point, we stepped back and let the reunion begin.

We don’t think there’s a tracing agency in the world who could have achieved that.

To find out exactly what Private Detective Manchester can do for you that no tracing agency can, call us now on 0161 694 0208 or email info@privatedetectivemanchester.com