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Its a Private Detectives World

Nov 25, 2007
They are not just fictional characters that exist in popular crime, thriller or detective novels, nor are they just glamorised characters in a police investigation movie. Private Detectives do exist in our contemporary post-modern culture and they come with many purposes, and skills. They have been around for over a hundred years and are still strong in their professions. So a word of warning to anyone cheating on their partners, watch your back someone maybe watching your every move right now!

History

In 1833 the first private detective agency was formed in France, by Eugene Francois Vidocq former French Soldier, criminal and privateer. Vidocq is credited for introducing the use of record keeping, criminology and ballistics in police investigations. His skills and ingenuity in criminal investigations are still being used today, particularly in America where The Vidocq Society was formed, for members only, who claim to follow the methods of Vidocq for their investigations.

Vidocq was the inspiration of many Private Investigation novels, most famous of all being Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The character of the nineteenth century private detectives are stereotyped as being cool, relaxed, intelligent, stocky in physique, usually drinking whiskey and dressed in a trench coat.

The detectives were used mainly for crime and police investigations, during which time only a limited number of investigation services were available for solving crimes. The U.S soon followed on forming The Pinkerton National Detective Agency, by Allan Pinkerton in 1850. They became famous for successfully foiling the plot to assassinate then President Abraham Lincoln.

Modern Private Investigations

Private investigators are now used for many purposes and not solely for crime investigation. The investigation service are also involved with celebrity protection, identity theft, pre-employment verification, cases of infidelity, civil liability cases, financial investigation, legal investigation and computer crime investigation.

Modern depictions of the private investigation service have appeared in popular Hollywood films and TV shows such as Charlie's Angels, Magnum PI, Remington Steele and Veronica Mars. These adaptations make the investigation service seem more interesting, dangerous and usually violent! Such is the exaggerated perception for the world of the PI and yet the truth is life in the private investigation service is quite the opposite.

How interesting the job may be, is dependent upon the assignment. America has taken the world of PI's to the next level into a reality TV show, involving people who are suspecting their partners of having an affair. The results are nothing less than traumatic and emotional; one can only empathise with the individual and question the moral intentions of the show.

The Private Investigator as we know it are people who deal with more paperwork than action, it is known for them to work in disguise as Vidocq was forced to do, after he was suspected by fellow convicts he was assigned to observe. Hollywood interpretations provide a false perception of their role and overall this service is more accessible to the public than they were before. Yet one thing the films and TV shows have been accurate in, is that they are very good at preserving their identity and do take on any role they feel necessary to help them gain the results they need, including acting as friend or perhaps a work colleague undercover.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been involved in the private investigator industry for several years now and is an expert on undercover surveillance and private detective work.
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