A typical day of a private investigator


There may come a time in your life when you need the services of a private investigator (PI). However, before you invest time and money to hire one, it’s wise to learn more about what they do all day and how they go about gathering the right information and evidence for each case.

Here you can learn all about what a typical day of a private investigator looks like and how to get in touch with a private detective Birmingham that can assist you when you’re ready to proceed with your case. Our private detective agency is always standing by and ready to jump in and help you gather the evidence you need to make a more informed decision about how your future personal or business matters will play out and be impacted.

What Kind of Tasks Does A Private Investigator Perform on A Daily Basis?

Private detectives or private investigators offer a variety of services in most cases relating to financial, legal, and personal matters. Some examples include investigating an employee’s potentially fraudulent accident claim, matrimonial investigations, or performing person tracing services. A private investigator will either be working on behalf of a business, individual, or a legal professional. While they can collect data and information, a private detective doesn’t have the ability to make an arrest or conduct a warrant search. 

Let’s start by diving further into what kind of tasks a private investigator performs on a daily basis so you know what they’ll be up to when you hire them for help. It’s important to note that no two days are the same when someone is working as a private investigator. One day the detective may be conducting surveillance and the next meeting with clients. 

The hours and duties of a private investigator in Birmingham vary day by day. They have unpredictable schedules and they may need to respond quickly and without much warning to certain situations. There must be a brief completed and presented before any of the work can begin as well. It contains information such as the client’s objectives or goals and details about the particular case. 

A private investigator may work on his or her own but they usually work together with a team of other private detectives and travel by foot or car to gather evidence or ask questions. A private investigator also spends a lot of time concentrating and observing during surveillance sessions or outings. They can’t miss a beat and must be aware and pay attention to every move that’s made and detail that’s witnessed. Their day may begin in the early hours of the morning before the sun rises and run upwards of 12 hours but the event of interest, whether it be an exchange of goods or a hand shake between two parties, may only take a matter of seconds.

Primary Responsibilities of A Private Investigator

Next, we’ll go over what the primary responsibilities of a private investigator are and break down how they spend their time and what tasks they work on during a case or investigation. The days can be very busy and long overall but also rewarding. 


Research plays a critical role in the life and day of a private investigator and the responsibilities they have. It may be collecting family history information, searching social media profiles, looking for relevant online news/press articles that provide information on their subject(s), or performing a background check. There are a range of Open-Source Intelligence techniques that are used to trawl online source for information that can be compiled and analysed to provide valuable intelligence and evidence.


Performing private surveillance service is another responsibility they will take on which involves following interested parties or suspects and taking photographic/video evidence of their activities, behaviour, locations visited and parties they meet with.. It can be a tough part of the job and requires a lot of focus but it is the primary service provided by Reveal and forms the basis on almost all of their investigations. It presents challenges unlike any other service as human nature is inherently unpredictable so the act of following a subject closely enough to obtain evidence whilst remaining distant enough to remain discreet is an art that takes years to perfect. Surveillance teams working within a law-enforcement environment are often comprised of 12+ individuals across a range of vehicles where as the average team size for a private investigator is 2-4 operatives. Working in smaller teams compounds the difficulties that investigators face especially when observing subject’s who may be surveillance aware or have criminal backgrounds as they are far more observant.

Person Tracing

It’s also important that a private investigator has the ability to provide Person Tracing activities. In order to locate a subject or person of interest, investigators are often required to conduct a person trace, in many cases the information available at the start of the investigation is limited and often outdated. Using a combination of Open-Source intelligence (OSINT), Social-Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) and conventional tracing techniques an investigator can locate current addresses for individuals, contact details that may allow them to link the individuals to others or other businesses, and establish relationships or associated individuals who they may live with. 

Interviewing People

They will also perform the responsibility of interviewing people, often witnesses will be willing to co-operate but their cooperation comes in the form of a witness statement which can be taken by the investigator during the interview process. Private Investigators who conduct this line of work are usually referred to as enquiry agents as they aren’t always formal interviews and can often be in-formal conversations. For example, in the aftermath of a high value vehicle being stolen an individual may hire a private investigator to conduct enquiry agent work and visit nearby properties/businesses who may have CCTV that can be used to identify the potential suspects. 

Intelligence Analysis & Evidence Preparation

Different investigative techniques yield information from intelligence sources, once a private investigator has gathered the relevant information it must be analysed and presented. The evidence needs to allow the reader/viewer to understand the scope of the work, the findings themselves and the conclusions they have drawn from that. It is imperative that the information be presented accurately in order for it to be admissible as evidence, in particular when needed for employment tribunals or court hearings as the burden of proof is higher than that in domestic investigations.

Client Meetings

Client meetings are another piece of the puzzle and another responsibility of a private investigator working on a case. During initial consultation a client is often the best source of information so its important that the investigator is able to establish the facts and identify where the knowledge gaps are in order to formulate an investigation plan. Once initial consultation has been completed and the investigation is underway, it is likely that there will be further meetings to provide interim updates and present findings to the client.


There are a variety of reasons why you may want to work with and hire a private investigator. Before moving forward, you should examine the reason why you’re wanting to use their services in the first place, as you will need to share your goals and the desired outcome with them. Managing Director David Jones recommends outlining clear objectives before you hire a private investigator as it will help the investigator prioritise elements of the investigation that are the most important to you.

Perform your own research to find out what the expected costs will be so you can plan for this expense and know what time and money the investigation will require of you. 

If you are looking for a local private investigator in Birmingham to help you gather the evidence you need to take action and move forward in your life, then contact our team today to get the conversation started and learn more about our services. We also operate in London, Manchester, Warwichsire and other cities in the UK. 

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