A private investigator is a natural person authorised to perform certain investigative activities against payment for a client, such as tracking missing persons or lost or stolen goods; the gathering of information on the civil status, behaviour, morality and financial situation of persons; collecting evidence for establishing facts that give rise or may give rise to conflicts between persons, or that can be used to end such conflicts; detecting industrial espionage and any other activity specified by a Royal Decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers.
A private investigator makes observations, infiltrates and tracks individuals, but in so doing must respect the applicable legislation at all times, including the Act of 19 July 1991 regulating the profession of private investigator (Belgian Official Journal 2 October 1991), the Privacy Act of 8 December 1992 (Belgian Official Journal 18 March 1993), the Act of 30 June 1994 for the protection of privacy against eavesdropping, examining and opening private communications and telecommunications (Belgian Official Journal 24 January 1995) and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
At the end of the investigation, we provide you with a detailed final report containing the findings of our investigation, as well as all the evidence collected within the framework of the assignment. This report is compiled by legally licensed private investigators in accordance with current legislation and can contain valuable information for yourself and for your lawyer. In addition, both this report and the related evidence such as photographs and visual material can be submitted to a judge.
The cost of an investigation depends entirely on the nature of the case and the associated time required, level of difficulty, and people and resources to be deployed. We guarantee a transparent cost policy: based on the situation you present to us, you the client will be advised by us during the initial exploratory interview of the resources to be deployed and an estimate of the associated cost. However, we limit ourselves to giving advice: the final decision about the strategy to be followed is up to the client.
A license is required to practice the profession of private investigator. In order to obtain this license, the candidate investigator must first and foremost follow a legally required programme at a training institute approved by the Minister of Home Affairs. After obtaining the certificate at this institute, the candidate investigator must submit a license application to the Minister of Home Affairs, after which the Minister will, among other things, start an investigation by state security and the public prosecutor’s office in respect of the candidate investigator. Only if these investigations show no incompatible activities and convictions will the Minister of Home Affairs issue this license. If the private investigator does not respect the applicable legislation, the Minister will withdraw or suspend the license.
The Detective Act states that each private investigator has a disclosure requirement. This means that all private investigators are legally obliged to state in each outgoing document their professional title, this being “private investigator” and their professional license number as obtained from the Federal Public Service Home Affairs. This disclosure obligation aims to make it possible for individuals to distinguish between a legally licensed private investigator and a non-legally licensed private investigator. If a non-licensed private investigator would give a fictitious professional license number, he is guilty of forgery.