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Private Detective Surrey

A Surrey Private Detective referred to a civilian employed by a Surrey BC Private Detective company to investigate "Subjects" on behalf of a client. In Surrey, the client is the term used for the customer. The "Subject" typically refers to individuals or groups but can also include Surrey businesses. The client can be an individual, corporation, or government agency.

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Use of Surrey Private Detective Term

A normal civilian performing investigations in Surrey is no longer referred to as a Private Detective. Rather, the term used now for a local investigator is a Surrey "Private Investigator."


Last Known Record of a Surrey Private Detective

The last record of a civilian investigating on the behalf of clients being referred to as a Surrey Private Detective is a 1962 amendment to what was called The Private Detectives' Licensing Act.


Modern Use of the term Surrey Private Detective

The current act governing Surrey civilians no longer allows the use of the term Detective:

A person engaged in a security business must not, to describe or identify the person’s business or services use the word "detective", "law enforcement", "peace officer" or "police", either alone or in conjunction with other words.

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What Did Surrey Private Detectives do?

The scope of work for Surrey Private Detectives was a broad range of different types of investigations, same as today.


However, Private Detectives in Surrey focused on providing insurance firms with information and evidence regarding insurance. These insurance firms were the largest provider of investigations in the past and now.

Surrey detective in a black suit

Despite being regular citizens, Surrey Private Detectives did not have BC or Canadian federal government investigative privileges; however, they possessed the authority akin to any other Surrey resident, albeit with the added capability to provide investigative services to clients due to their specialized expertise in the field.


Surrey Private Detective Clientele

Private Detectives in Surrey had commonly served

  • insurance companies

  • law firms

  • private corporations

  • Surrey citizens

Private Detectives undertaken for these entities often revolved around insurance claims and often provided surveillance as a service to these claims.

  • Today's Surrey agencies can also offer Cyber Investigations in conjunction with surveillance to better serve these clients. Obviously, technological limits made Surrey Private Detectives of the past unable to offer this service.

Additionally, other clients in Surrey had sought comprehensive information to facilitate the adjudication or administration of insurance claims.


Many of these case files, or just files, had been resolved through the engagement of a Surrey Private Detective, who had utilized both surveillance and non-surveillance methods. Of course, 1960s non-surveillance methods were much more analog. Surrey investigations had typically yielded information more expeditiously compared to legal procedures like discovery, thereby furnishing the clients of the Investigators with enhanced data for decision-making.

Surrey detective with camera

The Private Detective's clients would ask for investigations in Surrey on a wide variety of topics such as,

  1. Interviewing and Statement-Taking

  2. Forensic Investigations

  3. Theft Investigations in BC

  4. Security Consulting

  5. Accident Investigations & Reconstructions

  6. Asset Recovery Investigations

  7. Arson Investigations in BC

Surrey Detective inside of van with slr cam corder

Due to the progress of technology, Surrey agencies can now offer more investigative services such as,

Surrey BC flag

Former Surrey Private Detective Legislation

Most people would have thought that Surrey Private Detectives were given extra provincial BC legislative powers; however, this was not entirely true.

  • A local Surrey Detective was just a civilian but developed more tools than the general public and was more skilled and aware of how best to have leveraged those tools.

Furthermore, in Surrey, Private Detectives had the legal right to perform surveillance. This meant that a Surrey Private Detective could not have been accused of loitering, same with agencies in the present.


Make no mistake, Private Detectives in Surrey had legal means and methodologies that made them as effective as the civilians performing investigations of today. In contrast, the police had access to vastly more verifiable information, such as BC provincial wide data bases only accessible by law enforcement.


  • Surrey police databases in the past were quite different from what we have today. During that time, information was primarily stored in physical files, which were often paper-based. Each police department would have its own filing system to manage records related to criminal activities, investigations, and individuals.

  • Information sharing between police departments and agencies was limited and often done through phone calls, letters, or in-person meetings. This manual process could be slow and inefficient, making it challenging to track criminals across BC and Federal jurisdictions.

  • The use of computers in policing began to emerge in the late 1960s and 1970s, but these early systems were rudimentary compared to today's databases. They were used mainly for record-keeping and simple searches, and their capabilities were limited by the technology of the time.


For a Surrey Private Detective, much of the time, was spent establishing and verifying information.

Man in suit holding Surrey detective sign

Surrey Investigations Today

Today, the term "Surrey Private Detective" has evolved reflecting the changing landscape of investigative work. While the focus and technology have shifted, the core mission remains the same:

  • to provide clients with reliable information and evidence.

Despite the lack of governmental investigative powers, Surrey Private Detectives of the past were skilled professionals who played a crucial role in serving the needs of insurance companies, law firms, corporations, and individuals. Their legacy lives on in the modern investigative agencies that continue to provide a wide range of services to the Surrey community.


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