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“Back” to Basics

personal injury surveillance

Back injuries are often difficult to identify, especially when surveilling someone going about their day to day activities. We recently undertook instructions to watch someone with an alleged bad back, sustained during an accident. The injury was alleged to prevent this subject from living a “normal” life.

On the first day very little was seen of the subject, other than glimpses getting into a vehicle and looking through a shop window. The subject and partner then returned home. It did appear that walking was laboured and there was some evidence of a limp.

The next day the partner disappeared, as did the limp… The subject was seen loading the vehicles and taking it to the tip, shopping and almost running after a trip to the garden centre.

Mind You, who wouldn’t run from “Charlie Dimmock”

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Doctor, Doctor

Doctor, Doctor, I can’t BEAR the pain!

It never seems to amaze us that when personal injury claimants go to the doctors, the pain on the way there seems to get ‘worse.’

A recent case saw a claimant lapse into a state of near total paralysis on his way to a doctors appointment. However our clients were pleased to see his activity immediately prior to and after his appointment.

Are you a defendant personal injury solicitor?

Our specialist surveillance teams offer fixed fee packages throughout the United Kingdom at cost effective rates. For more information please contact our head office today on; information@enquiryagent.co.uk or phone; 01623 451961.

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Locating missing tenants

If you’ve lost touch with your current or former tenants it may become a concern if you are owed a substantial amount of rent. If the tenant left some sort of bond which covers the owed money, luckily you have not technically lost out on anything apart from the principal. However even if the tenant’s bond does covered the unpaid rental dues, there can still be complications if there is outstanding utilities and other bills that could possibly de-lay re-letting the property. Therefore the sooner you restore contact with your former tenant or at least have knowledge of their new/ current residential address the better, so you can began recovering any losses.

Don’t worry… If your tenant has disappeared there is numerous ways that you can relocate them. Firstly, there is the professional route. There are numerous tracing companies that specialise in tracing missing debtors for landlords. Simply enter ‘debtor tracing’ or something similar into a search engine and you will get numerous results of companies specialising in this field. Rates are normally between £50 – £100 depending on the service offered and what you get for your money. Some companies will do all they can to obtain all associated contact details whilst some will simply do a ‘bog-standard’ trace. You will also find that most tracing companies will offer their service on a ‘No Trace, No Fee’ basis.

Once you have located the missing tenant you can now began court proceedings to get a judgement against all outstanding money. Once you have a solicitor and the judgement is made you will know need to instruct a professional process server to personally serve the documentation upon the debtor at their new residential address.

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Serving Documents upon Tenants.

How do you properly serve documents upon tenants that the Judge will accept and not dismiss?

They’re numerous ways that you can serve documents to ensure that you give a tenant ‘efficient and proper’ notice to allow them time to find alternative living arrangements.

Different process servers, bailiffs, creditors and solicitors will have their own ideas of what they class as ‘good service’ however we have listed numerous methods that a judge will accept within reason.

The first thing that a landlord needs to understand is that their tenancy agreement will more than likely have both parties agreeing to a form of service that will be accepted if needed.

1st Class Post:

When you decide to try and serve documents by post you will need to always send these documents as 1st Class. When you send the documents ensure that you get a certificate from the post office.

You have to adhere to the expiry dates within the documents and when you post the documents via 1st class you should ideally allow an extra five working days to ensure that you meet the deadline.

If we go back to the tenancy agreement and it states the following; Section 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925 you must serve the documents in the following ways:

Leaving the documents at the address:

If the tenants are still residing at your property you can leave the documents at the address by safely posting them through the letterbox. We strongly advice that if you decide to undertake this method of service that you obtain some type of evidence, which could be: Taking a photograph or film the process of inserting them through the letterbox, you could also take a witness along with you.

If you leave the documents at the address before 4.30pm the deemed service date is of the same day. However if you leave the documents after 4.30pm, deemed service will be classed as the following  ‘working’ day so therefore if you serve after 4.30pm on a Friday or before a bank holiday the date of service will be the following Monday.

Recorded Delivery:

Serving documents via recorded delivery is a lot more efficient than posting the documents through the letterbox yourself as the documents will have to be signed for, therefore notifying you that the tenant has received the documents and they have notified you that they are now in receipt of them. If however the documents are returned without gaining a signature, service will not be classed as deemed and you will have to seek alternative methods.

Personal Service:

The best method of service would be to personally serve the documents upon the tenants by instructing a process server. When you instruct a process server, they will attend at the given address and personally hand the documents to the tenant stating that they have been served. Once the documents have been serving, the process server will complete a Certificate of Service stating the details of the service and signing it to confirm that the contents of the certificate are true, they will also exhibit all documents served.

The date of service is again before 4.30pm the day of service and after 4.30pm the next working day.

Conclusion:

If you are unsure regarding the best possible method of service we recommend that you contact a solicitor to assist your case. However we can state that serving the documents upon the tenants personally will be classed as the best possible service that the judge will accept every time if service is carried out in a professional, ethical and careful manner.

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What is required to become a private investigator?

As of July 2016 they’re currently no laws or standards to meet to become a private investigator. Dukeries are waiting patiently for this to change. They’re many associations, accreditation’s and qualifications you can achieve to show your competent and standards which most ‘professional’ investigators will achieve.

In 2014 Dukeries achieved the British Standard for Professional Investigation Services (BS102000) which we believe is a form of self-regulation as you are required to undergo a yearly audit to ensure that you are operating within a professional, ethical and lawful manner.

All serious private investigators should also all achieve membership to the Association of British Investigators which is the only association to be endorsed by the law society.

All individuals coming into the private investigation industry with no experience should at least achieve relevant qualifications into a different range of services and then look to achieve the IQ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigations, which we assume will be the minimum requirement when licensing is hopefully introduced.

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What is a Private Investigator?

They are many different definitions of what a private investigator is, in general, a private investigator, is someone who is instructed to obtain information regarding the habits, conduct, whereabouts, lifestyle or trustworthiness of the ‘subject’ to the investigation. A private investigator can also locate missing persons, assets and make field enquiries on a discreet or direct approach. The evidence that a private investigator obtains may be used in a court proceeding or any other legal cases.

 

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Absence In The Workplace.

It’s inevitable that employees will be sick from time to time and miss days from work. However you will find that your respectable employees will feel down and bad that they have let their colleagues down and that their workload will increase.

When you have frequent employees absent from the workplace the employer can be put in a tricky situation, especially if you have no set polices in place for dealing with such cases. Employers also has to consider that some absences may not be genuine and if you believe this to be your case you have to consider how you will take action to unearth the truth.

Most employers will conduct an investigation and the evidence that is gathered will be presented to see if disciplinary action should be pursued.

If you decide that investigating the employee in questions is necessary, you should investigate any reasons for their poor attendance. If they are claiming it is a medical cause then it could be worthwhile trying to obtain a medical report. You could also ask the employee to come in and have an informal meeting or if they refuse you could conduct an interview over the phone.

If all else fails and employee absenteeism is becoming an issue you should consider contacting a professional investigation company who will investigate the employee’s activities on a daily basis whilst they are away from work. Once the investigation concludes the investigators will submit their report, logs, video footage and any other evidence to the employer to decide if the absence is genuine or not.

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Intellectual Property Investigations

Every business has some sort of intellectual property regardless of the size, sector or product. Intellectual property can be anything from brand design, invention, products, etc.

Intellectually property is a persons or business prized asset as they have worked hard to create a design or product that sets them out from the rest. Intellectually property ranges from a product, services, artistic material, fashion luxury or industries such as beverages.

If you have a valued asset you might want to consider protecting your invention / brand as this could be vital to the future of your business. If a competitor steals your idea the market you operate in could become flooded with ‘fake’ or other designs very similar to yours, which will mean loss of productivity.

Our professional investigators specialise in intellectually property investigations and we can work closely with your business to help put together a plan to protect your product / brand or if it is too late and your competitors have already stolen such ideas we can conduct an investigation to earth the truth and discover the evidence you require to prove such unlawful acts.

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How to deal with employee absenteeism issues

From time to time employees will be off work due to sickness, holidays, injury or any other ‘legitimate’ reason. Most ‘honest’ employees will generally feel bad about having time away from work due to letting down their colleagues and the work load that will be increased.

As employers will know absence from the workplace can put your business in a tricky situation especially if it is a long term condition or a regular occurrence, especially if the company has no policies in place to deal with such matters.

How to deal with employee absenteeism issues:

If you decide to take action against an employee due to absenteeism you must ensure that the procedure is fair and conducted in a professional manner, we strongly recommend that if you haven’t you take legal advice. Before you do decide to take action you have to consider what is best for the business, is the employee in question causing too much damage? If you turn out to be wrong and have not got enough evidence could your business reputation be damaged along with employee trust?

Attendance issues are one of the most common issues within the workplace and can also be one of the most trickiest if you decide to investigate the absenteeism, so we have listed a few pointers about how to deal with it in an effective, fair and professional manner;

Document Everything:

Make sure that if you are considering placing an employee under investigation that you document everything regarding the attendance problem. This step is extremely important if you decide to take disciplinary once the investigation has ceased. Please remember to take an accurate list of all hours and days that are missed and copy all documentation provided by the employee.

Discuss the Situation:

Before you take action it might be best if you telephone the employee and have a quick telephone conversation or ask them to come into the workplace for a meeting regarding their condition. When you take this step you are notifying the employee that you are aware of their continued absence.

Investigate the Employee:

If you have tried speaking with the employee and the attendance hasn’t improved and you have suspicion that the reason for the absence is not completely true you might want to consider hiring a professional investigation company to place the employee under cover surveillance.

How to instruct an Investigation Company:

Now you have decided to instruct an investigation company to observe the activity of your employee you need to make sure you have discussed the situation with the investigator dealing with the case. Each investigation company are different and deals with these sort of enquiries in their own way.

We recommend that you instruct a company who have achieved The BS102000 Investigative Services Accreditation.