Attention: Text translated automatically from the Italian language. In case of differences, the Italian version appliesItalian version
When asked “who is the private detective?” It is not possible to provide a unique overview of the profession of the private detective.
The profession of private investigator, at least in Switzerland, is quite varied in terms of the tasks assigned to it.
Therefore, if you ask who the private investigator is, I can reply in a generic way that the private detective is a professional who is active in retrieving information of various kinds.
Although we are used to identifying the profession of the private detective with the image of a guy who spies on loving couples, during their amorous encounters, it must also be noted that in Switzerland the profession of the private detective focuses mainly on financial issues and much less on sentimental matters.
Who is the private detective and in what fields does he work?
The private detective, as mentioned above, can be active in various investigative sectors. Let’s see together which ones:
- Investigations for financial matters
- Commercial inquiries
- Investigations for fraud and scams
- Investigations in the sentimental field
- Combating unfair competition
- Investigations in real estate and assets
- Due diligence analysis
- Verification of corporate reputation or people
- Investigations in the historical context
Unlike many other nations, in Switzerland the professional figure of the private investigator is equated with the private person and does not in any way hold any public official function. In addition, in Switzerland the private investigator is forbidden to investigate crimes and open crimes, where there are criminal investigations by the competent authorities. This measure is intended to prevent the private investigator from interfering with police investigations or where there is a risk of polluting the evidence.
So who is not the private detective?
At this point, once I have specified who the private investigator is, I believe it is right to clarify who is not the proven investigator, at least in our latitudes in Switzerland.
The private investigator in Switzerland is by no means a public official and does not enjoy particular superpowers other than those of ordinary citizens.
The private detective in Switzerland does not enjoy, at least legally, a preferential channel for obtaining confidential information or information covered by official secrecy. To be understood, the private detective in Switzerland has no right to request the criminal record of a third person without his consent and obviously a regular proxy. He cannot even request an extract from the debt collection and bankruptcy register of a third person without being able to demonstrate a legitimate interest.
Obviously, he does not even have the right to carry out police checks, as he is not a public officer who is a member of the police force and much less can he violate the private property of a third person.
Beware of private detectives who boast exceptional powers
Unfortunately, although rare, it can always happen even in Switzerland to come across a private detective who boasts exceptional powers such as the authority to violate your partner’s WhatsApp or who declares himself authorized to plant bugs in the most unlikely places. If you come across such figures, my most dispassionate advice is to decline any offer of intervention and report the incident to the competent law enforcement agencies.
Remember that in principle in the event of a serious violation of current regulations, not only the material executor is punished according to the law, but usually the principal as well.