Peter Arthur Heims
Peter Arthur Heims
Peter Heims passed away on Friday April 26, 2013 following an illness.
Peter had retired some years before after over 40 years working as a private investigator.
He will be missed by colleagues and friends.
Some pages from his website have been hosted for information.
How do I become a Private Detective?
Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, or an individual with a Thermos conducting an all-night vigil for suspected infidelity: private investigators provide services including surveillance and employee theft; they trace missing persons; and advise companies on security measures, including de-bugging, and preventing industrial espionage.
What makes a good investigator? Academic qualifications are not necessary, says Peter Heims, of the Association of British Investigators, "Patience, common sense and tenacity are the important qualities. I once employed my elderly aunt simply because she was very thorough - and she didn't look like a detective." Heims estimates that 80 per cent of his members are former police officers. Others have worked for law firms' or in administrative support in detective agencies. Short training courses are available.
Tony Imossi now heads London-based Solicitors' Law Services, but has been a private investigator. "In my first job I routinely met private investigators, decided that I could do better and set up on my own. I now advise on protection against fraud and money laundering. I do this by assessing clients' degree of protection and investigating the people that they propose to do business with."
"I have worked on advanced fee fraud, undercover operations and fit-to-sue work - by checking public sources of information you can see whether money to pay the debt is available. In one case I had to get close to a guy who was defrauding a bank. I posed as an arms dealer to rouse his curiosity and greed. He fell for it, saw me as a source of income and told me all about himself. I was, of course, wired up."
Anyone can call themselves a private investigator, but from 2006 investigators will have to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority.
Can you make your fortune as a sleuth? Self-employed, you could set an hourly rate of £40 - 50 outside London. Salaries for employed staff vary, but there is always the possibility of establishing your own business.
Original article published in The Times, 2005.
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