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Are Private Investigators Legal In Australia?

Private Investigators Melbourne tender investigative and legal support services to individuals, government agencies, corporate entities, institutions etc. in areas like fraud prevention, detection, assessment and resolution. These investigators are often retired police professionals or Government detectives who take the private route to earn money. Investigators in reputed companies often charge more than others. They provide services like corporate fraud and risk management services, insurance fraud and claims investigation, monitoring and assessment, aviation accident and loss investigation, marine loss investigations, occupational health and safety incident investigation, witness location and skip tracing, criminal investigations, child protection investigations, investigative journalism, family law investigations, intellectual property protection services, background checking, missing person investigations etc.

Some countries in the world do not require private investigators to have licenses. Most of the states and territories in Australia have schemes in police to offer licenses to private investigators. Licenses are granted to investigators in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the northern territories. Thus people who do not have a licence will not be able to practice as a private investigator in Australia.

In New South Wales, The Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004 (NSW) establishes the regulatory framework for commercial agents and private inquiry agents. Under the Act, the Commissioner of Police issues licenses to business owners (master licenses) and their employees (operator licenses) who undertake commercial agent or private inquiry agent activities. So one cannot enter the province of New South Wales without a CAPI license.

Licenses are granted to Private Investigators in all states except the Australian Capital Territory. Companies which are conducting private investigations must hold a business license and all its employees or individual private investigators must be in possession of an individual license. Generally the licenses are issued and regulated by the state police in most of the states. But in certain states, other Government bodies are also involved in this job. If one works without a license, he is considered to be breaching the law.

Even licensed private investigators are however prohibited from obtaining information about immigration records, criminal and traffic history,medical history,vehicle registration details,Birth record of an individual within 100 years,death records within 30 years,marriage records within 50 years,divorce records,child support records,phone records,banking records,trust accounts, land title ownership by name,prisoner records,sex offender records etc.Hence if one is thinking of hiring a private investigator in Australia to obtain these services, he should refrain from doin so.

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