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No more being a private investigator just for fun - you now need a licence

Or else you could face jail time.

We're sure Sherlock's operations are all above board.
We're sure Sherlock's operations are all above board.

PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS WILL need to obtain a licence from the Private Security Authority (PSA), under new rules announced by the Department of Justice.

From 1 November, it will be an offence for PIs to operate without a licence, as will employing an unlicensed PI.

For both offences a person can be fined up to €3,000 or imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both, on summary conviction. A conviction on indictment can lead to imprisonment of up to 5 years or a fine.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the development comes after “two years of development work by the Private Security Authority, including consultation with the industry”.

“During that period, a number of successful prosecutions against Private Investigators have been achieved by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner following investigation into the activities of Private Investigators.

Some of the more undesirable activities and practices of the sector have been highlighted by these investigations and the need for regulation is evident. I am confident that the introduction of these regulations will raise standards in the sector.

In order to obtain a licence a contractor must make an application to the PSA accompanied by the following:

  • Licence Fee*
  • Garda Vetting Form
  • Certificate of Compliance with PSA Standard
  • Tax Clearance Certificate

*The licence fee is based on the turnover of the contractor. Where a contractor has no turnover the fee is €1,000. For contractors with a turnover of up to €300,000, the fee is €1,250. Licences are valid for two years.

To date the PSA has licensed contractors in the following sectors: cash-in-transit, event security, door supervisor, security guarding, installer of security equipment, and alarm and CCTV monitoring sectors.

What is it like to be a private investigator in Ireland?

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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