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Detective – what rights does he have?

Detective – what rights does he have? A detective is a person we can associate with solving difficult and uncomfortable cases. The ones that the police either don’t want to or can’t take on (whether because of their nature or the lack of illegal aspects). Here, many questions may arise about what a detective is able to do. What rights does he have? So what can you expect from him?

Private investigator powers

In the United States, a detective is a person who has gone through the police academy and become a police officer, only later acquiring a detective specialty. In Poland, however, it all looks different, and although we will talk more about this in a moment, the process of becoming a detective in Poland significantly affects what powers he actually has. The duties and powers of a police officer are significantly different from those of a detective. What rights does he have? We list a few of them below.

  • Following a person in public places – can only be carried out from the level of public space, but the observed person can be in a building. The detective can document the observations with photos, video and audio recordings.
  • Interrogating people with their consent – the detective has the right to ask questions – not necessarily to people directly involved in the case he is dealing with. However, it must obtain the consent of the person interviewed. The material collected by him can be used in the case. However, it must be recorded with consent. It’s also best to have it in writing. A detective has no right to force anyone to talk to me or give me information.
  • Obtaining any information – the detective has the right to obtain, process and store information related to the case he is dealing with. Their form can be absolutely any. However, it is the method of obtaining this information that counts the most here. It is important that it is fully compliant with Polish law.
  • Not to provide data to others – although it might seem that under the GDPR the detective must transfer information obtained about people to themselves and change or delete it at their request, there is no such obligation at all. However, he has the right to share them only with the client and store them at his place. Of course, in a safe way.

The detective agency must comply with applicable law and it is an absolute must. Not only can it break it, but it can’t even bend it. He is also not authorized to install wiretaps and to approach his activities too intensively. It is therefore unacceptable to track people in a way resembling stalking, but also to enter their apartments or violate their freedoms or civil liberties. All activities performed by him must therefore be carried out delicately. With the right frequency and intensity.

How does a detective acquire these powers?

Virtually anyone can become a detective in Poland. However, this does not mean that it does not have to meet certain requirements. Although its powers will be less than those of the police, they will also be greater than those of an average and unrelated person.
The detective acquires powers from the provincial police commander competent for his place of residence. In this way, he receives a license that is granted to him indefinitely. Only being in possession of it can he work in his profession. Obtaining a license itself is not easy and requires the detective to meet certain requirements. Future  private detective must be at least 21 years old, have secondary or higher education, but also have full legal capacity. Nor can he be prosecuted for an intentional crime. They also cannot be disciplinary personnel from services such as the police, army or border guards.

Of course, the detective must also have the appropriate knowledge in what he intends to do. Therefore, before receiving a license, he must present a document confirming that he has undergone training in the field of personal data protection, regulations governing his rights and obligations, but also the rules of conducting business activity in the field of detective services.
A license is not granted for simply applying. The commander must issue his own opinion, which is influenced not only by the documents confirming the fulfillment of the requirements, but also by the personal observations of the commander himself, who himself may know the person applying for a permit to conduct detective activity

Summary

Knowing who a detective is, what rights he has and how he acquires his powers, one can understand what can really be expected and required of him. Often people believe that he is a person who can act outside the law or simply bend it. The reality is different and while a detective can do a lot, he has his limits and many things he can simply refuse. It’s good to know what these things are. It’s best before you actually decide to use his services.

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