12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Wednesday 18 May 2022

Michael King will present his paper Out of obscurity: The contemporary private investigator in Australia.

The business of private investigation has grown significantly in the past two decades.
No longer can private investigating be considered an obscure form of private policing.
Yet, despite the recent growth of interest in private policing, little research has been
conducted on the services provided by private investigators.

This presentation presents the results of an analysis in-depth interviews with Australian
private investigators in QLD, NSW and Vic. It discusses their contemporary role in the context
of providing justice, public policing and future regulatory challenges and extends the limited
research on the services private investigators provide, including corporate fraud and financial
investigations, risk advisory, and cyber and misconduct investigations. It identifies their
backgrounds and education, and describes their clients.

The study found that, contrary to expectations, to meet these new services, private investigators are
now highly qualified academically and professionally. It was found that regulatory gaps have been
created in the licensing of contemporary private investigators, and the use of private investigators
allows clients to sidestep the justice system.

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