Is it legal to hire a Private Investigator in the UK?

People often question if what we do is legal, so we have detailed what your investigator can do legally.

Is it legal to hire a private investigator in the UK?

It is completely legal to hire a private investigator in the UK so long as they are offering the right services. The capabilities of a private investigator are often misperceived and compared to the likes of Sherlock Holmes.

The techniques we see on television such as phone hacking and trespassing are illegal and breach human rights and data protection. However, there are other techniques and methods that can be used which don’t infringe any laws and can be conducted by a qualified private investigator.

It is important to consider various factors when hiring a private detective, ensuring that they are qualified and under a governing body eliminates the chance of anything unlawful happening.  

We have set out the right and wrong for each of the services by private detectives…

Hacking/GPS Tracking

You may think that because phone and computer hacking is forever increasing that surely a private investigator would be able to do it. The answer is no and if you are offered this service then avoid it at all costs.

An ethical and legitimate technique to use, like we do here at Pelican Investigations, is surveillance. Our private detectives can discover your truth through public monitoring of a person or GPS vehicle tracking of the individual. Each of these are completely legal actions and will help build up your case and get some answers you need.


Private detectives can access any public records but cannot go further than this into any personal records.  Some investigators have access to special databases which allows background checks, property, and similar points. However, any financial records or sensitive private information is legally protected and cannot be looked at.

At Pelican Investigations, we can gain sufficient knowledge with access to legal information that we need to help your case.


In no situation should an investigator enter a residential property or workplace without the correct authority and permission. All investigations should be undertaken in public places and should not involve any sense of trespassing.

Our team of detectives have sound knowledge of what is legally allowed for your investigation and will strive to get the best results under these requirements. Get in touch with our private investigators in the West Midlands for more information.



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