I say that any PI carrying a PI badge is a wanker. Big time. Makes them go funny in the head. They start behaving as if they have some special powers! In Australia, they do not. And any PI carrying a badge should not be in the business because the kind of mind-set and intellect that motivates a private investigator to carry a badge is unsuitable for the profession.
Mike Evans, the well known investigation trainer and I had expressed definitive views about PI badges. Likewise former PI Warren Mallard frowned on PI badges, or rather, people using them.
Despite my view and the views of many experienced old-timers of the PI profession, I decided to publish an opposing view by Neil Prosser and Richard Budge who used to have a website selling this stuff. Make your own judgment.
My name is Richard Budge, and I am the Operations Manager for the online shop known Spytek. Spytek's owner is himself a Private Investigator and on completion of his qualification he found that the training institution provided optional P.I. Badges, but those badges were of the American variety, i.e. with the Eagle of the top and very reminiscent of an Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Badge in coloured Gold. So, the very fact that the training organization offered the Badge prompted the attendee's to want a badge since the correct use of same was covered in the course. It was this very request from likeminded individuals wanting to have an Australian flavored badge that caused the eventual design and manufacture of Australian badges, one of our design badges which is featured on this website. One featured common throughout our range of Badges is the Royal Crown, and not
Spytek not only provides badges to the P.I. Industry, but others as indicated below.
And this is just to name a few. Spytek manufacturers a lot of Badges for Governments department which we don't have the authority to mention in this forum, however suffice to say that we do not simply cater for the "Wanker" market as so elegantly stated by Michael Hessenthaler and supported further by Michael Evans, but also for use by Official Government & Private Company Representatives.
We have written this article to highlight the fact that our Badges are not JUST supplied to a few select Private Investigators who want to flash the badge and pretend that the badge somehow magically gives them a greater authority. If these were the only people we supplied Badges to then clearly we wouldn't have sufficient income to stay in business and support staff such as myself. These badges represent a learned person who simply uses the badge to offer both themselves and the person to whom he/she is talk with a sense of someone who is indeed learned and who has the skills of a person fit carry the badge. We have found that actually the presentation of a badge when compared to an I.D. card makes an outstanding difference. This is the industry feedback we regularly receive, and also based on the Spytek owner's own personal P.I. experience. The badge also makes the carrier more confident in their approach in the knowledge of how the badge is perceived by those viewing it. Our experience is that presentation of an ID card alone causes the viewer to want to grab hold of the ID and study it, and read the detail of the card, and compare the photo and ask questions in what is often a suspicious manner causing them to be more reluctant to part with information and/or cooperation. We have found that on presentation of the badge with the attitude and confidence of the presenter that there is no time wasted with suspicion, which allows the person to more quickly get down to the business at hand.
On a global basis, P.I.'s and similar persons carry Badges for the exact same reasons, and they all like a little like Police badges. Now, only those people "in the know" would really even know what a Police ID Badge looks like because most law abiding citizens would never have had a reason to see one, mainly only on TV shows, and then usually American shows at best. For this reason a lot of people could be easily duped into believing any old badge was official, and that's why these badges are globally are made to be reminiscent of a Police logo so that it's easily recognizable by the general public at large. However, because we "see" P.I.'s and similar showing a badge as PART of their ID on TV/Films, it means to the average person that an ID without a badge has a somewhat cause for concern as they often believe the ID is fake otherwise they are thinking "if this person is real, where's their badge". Like it or not we are all greatly influenced but what we see on the movies and TV, and showing a badge ID for all manner of valid reasons is more the norm than the other way around. Again, if there was no market for badges, then how would companies like Spytek and others stay in business.
I would to specifically address some of the issues raised by Michael Hessenthaler, Mike Evans and Warren Mallard- I will list these as Comment and Rebuttal [note "C" are quotations from the article. ed.]
R - The website in question is NOT peculiar, it's called www.spytek.com.au
R - This is simply completely ridiculous and over the top statement. One person (hopefully the article didn't mean Spytek) could not destroy a whole industry through bad behavior, and should that be the case, I'm am certain the relevant authorities would com into play to correct the problem.
R - We agree, however the badge is an expected part of today's ID, and it provides an added sense of confidence to the owner and it represents their training to be there doing their job.
R - We agree entirely. We do not condone in any way shape or form that one of our badges should be used to allow any person to believe he/she is anything more than what they should be. For example impersonating a Police Officer, be it State or Federal is a VERY serious offence.
R - IF the training organizational said it was OK to pretend to be anything more than you are, we agree, but most training organisations do offer the American style badges to completing students for all the reason mentioned in this article.
R - The badges referred to here were no doubt the terrible looking American Badges, to show a badge like this in Australia, when the American badge is probably more highly recognized badge to the TV/Film influence would only confuse the viewer - why in Australia is this person showing my an American Badge? They must not really be who they say they are. So, under THOSE circumstance, I'm not surprised they would have gladly handed there "cereal box" badges in.
R - Again a completely ridiculous thing to say. Personally I think that comments like this are generated from a jealousy that some people have great looking Badges such as those purchased on spytek.com.au. Certainly to refer to someone who carry a an ID badge as a moron is completely harsh. The reality is that someone who wishes to carry a badge is more easily recognized as being in touch with today's general public expectations. They are more professional, and able to do their job more quickly and efficiently with a greater feeling of job satisfaction.
Just one further note that not all badges sold by us are used in the field, some like to use them as Frame Plagues, or similar trophy style mounting. In a frame plaque on the wall of, for example, a Private Investigator office, a client is impressed immediately making them way more inclined to give the business that that agent, rather than another who make not look as professional.
(Signed) Neil Prosser and Richard Budge