Who is a detective and what does he do?

Detective is a profession that the average person associates with popular series and books, with adventures and extraordinary cases. It is Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, a brave person with an extraordinary ability to solve the most complicated puzzles. In reality, however, the day-to-day work of a detective is not so fascinating and full of dangers. Detective services are often routine activities, full of legal complexities and “paperwork”.

Detective – definition

The definition of a detective is presented differently in Poland and in the world. In Poland, a detective is understood as a private investigator, a civilian person who can provide unusual services for a fee. Such an approach is connected with the interwar period and the office of the investigating judge, whose duties were related to conducting the investigation, and after collecting the evidence, presenting it to the prosecutor, deciding whether or not to charge.

Apart from the Polish state, the situation is slightly different. A detective is a position or rank in the police. Sometimes it is simply the title of all investigators. Sometimes, however, the detective title is obtained through a special test or long-term training at the police academy.

The very word “detective” in English is also used by other professions, such as security guards in the store (the so-called “shop detective”) or people responsible for security in the hotel (“hotel detective”). In English-speaking countries, the equivalent of the Polish detective is rather a “private investigator”, which can be literally translated as “private investigator”.

Both in Poland and, for example, in the USA, there are a large number of professions involving detective services . Such types of work are carried out, for example, by bailiffs, debt collectors, fraud and compensation specialists or environmental protection inspectors.

What activities does a detective perform?

Detective services are regulated in Poland by the Act (Act on detective services of July 6, 2001). Economic activity involving this type of service consists in obtaining, processing and transferring information about persons, objects and events. They are implemented through an agreement concluded with the client.

Therefore, in accordance with the act, the detective deals with e.g. checking the credibility of information on economic matters . He is looking for missing or hiding people or missing property. Detective services also include collecting information on cases involving criminal proceedings and cases related to discovering insurance fraud.

Who can and who cannot be the client for the detective?

The commissioner for the detective may be an entrepreneur, but also another entity without the status of an entrepreneur. It can be both a natural person and a public institution or body. Giving orders for a detective, consisting in collecting information, cannot be handled by the supervisory body and the criminal proceedings in cases in which criminal proceedings are initiated.

How to become a detective?

Until recently, you could become a detective by passing a state examination. Nowadays, a detective license is granted to every person with Polish citizenship who turns every 21 years and has secondary education, and has not been subject to criminal proceedings or has not been legally convicted. A person wishing to become a detective could not have been disciplinarily expelled from uniformed services in the past.

A candidate for a detective should have a mental capacity for this type of work, which should be confirmed by a medical certificate. In addition, it should have an impeccable opinion, which in turn must be confirmed by the district police commander. In addition, it is necessary to undergo training in the protection of personal data, classified information, regulations governing the rights and obligations of a detective, as well as rules regarding business activities related to detective services .

After confirming that the candidate meets all the above requirements, the provincial commander of the police issues a detective license, and the “young” detective is entered in the register of representatives of this profession, which is kept by the Ministry of Interior and Administration. From now on, he is a full-fledged, licensed detective.

What can and cannot be a detective?

Detective powers do not differ much from a detective from other private persons. He may not use any means that may not be used by private persons. So a detective cannot, for example, wiretap. The law imposes many obligations on this profession. Above all, they must act in accordance with the principles of ethics. Secondly, they cannot proceed using technical means and methods that are reserved for services. Third – all contracts with customers must be written in the form of reports. And finally – fourth – the detective must always have a license with him and necessarily show it to the client with whom he works on request. 

Polish

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