Are Private Investigators licensed and regulated in the U.K.?

Apr 18, 2019

It is a question that is raised regularly in relation to licensing and regulation of private investigators in the UK. Currently, a UK private investigator does not need to be licensed to operate.

The industry is of course, in the main a complex business arena to regulate. Covering wide subject areas from process serving to those of criminal defence and surveillance.

Proposed regulation by the Home Office reared it’s head in 2013 after the highly published phone hacking scandal by The News of the World. The matter has since gone very quiet.

There are advantages of licensing for private investigators bringing about greater access to data and intelligence for legitimate reasons. There has been a huge increase in the number of operating private investigators over the last decade and they don’t necessarily have the correct training, experience or qualifications. This results in poor service levels, unsatisfactory results and unqualified agents reflecting badly on the industry.

In the ongoing absence of licensing and regulations, Proactive Investigations is a member of the ABI (Association of British Investigators). Their focus is all about the accountability. They are a recognised and respected industry body since 1913. They vet and train members by their own code of professional standards. They perform due diligence, lobby for regulation and work at the same time to change public perception by acting with integrity.  More information can be viewed on

We also hold a registration number with the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) and work towards facilitating their guidelines to deliver our private 

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