Mike Evans is chief investigation trainer and CEO of Australian Security Academy in Queensland
I don't teach people to do marital or relationship surveillance. The reason being it is dangerous and not like what one sees on TV at all. One of the dangers is the judgement you make. A wife could cheat on her husband because he bashes her, rapes the kids and treats her like dirt - her cheating may just be a need for the company of a confidant. A husband may cheat on his wife because she has a drug addiction, alcohol problem or mental condition making life with her very difficult.
I am not aware of anyone in any relationship who is more innocent or more guilty about commonly encountered relationship problems when people live together. To think one is more right or less guilty just on their say-so is not investigating; that's believing anything.
A private investigator executed a wife and her boyfriend in Queensland five years ago in front of their five screaming children, because her ex-husband told the PI he hired she was selling drugs.
Relationship problems are solved by two committed people working it out, not by hiring a $45 an hour private investigator. If they are not committed then they can depart each other's company and move on at any point, or work it out with time and communication. Hundreds of thousands do it every day.
Either way, when either one seeks a private investigator neither will admit the underlying problem and the P.I. will always be dragged into the mess. Recently in Brisbane an experienced ex-police officer was hired to follow a cheating husband. He did, he took video film and provided it to the wife. Later the ex-police officer was called to a residence on the promise of more work. He was invited in and he sat down. From behind him another person held a knife to his throat and demanded that video back. The video was returned within an hour. That ex cop was experienced and tough, but he was not going to take on a member of an organized crime gang and his associates.
Today houses are worth a million and cars fifty thousand. People who cheat have a lot to lose and the stakes are high. Your confidentiality, being paid and your welfare are not of concern to a person in a highly emotional situation. Hence you are at great risk from the wrong type of person.
What on the outside seems a worthwhile pursuit, is in fact dangerous and potentially lethal. 99% of the time you will prove what the person who hire you suspects. 99% of the time you wont get paid. 100% of the time it will be the person who hires you brother or sister or best friend they are cheating with. And when you show them the video, you will have a crying adult on your hands - it's not a pretty sight.
There is lots of adrenalin pumping even in safe surveillance work in personal injury cases. You get paid, you can sleep at night and you don't have people coming after you. Don't gamble with relationship surveillance, it is a huge risk.