French Investigations

Not everything in this world is black and white !


Welcome to the premier site for finding an English Speaking Detective in France. The origin of this activity is, etymologically, Greco-Roman, and the word “detective” comes from the Latin words “detectum”, “detegere”, “detectus”, which mean “discoverer”, “to discover”, “discovered”, recalling that the Egyptians and Phoenicians had their detectives. Private investigators carry out professional investigations for a variety of clients. They work with solicitors, insurance companies, local authorities, private companies and individuals. They are also employed by the Police and Government Agencies.

The work is varied and could involve surveillance, fraud investigation, missing person’s enquiries, investigating insurance claims, commercial piracy, benefit fraud, data forensics, due diligence, skip tracing and process serving. Investigators ask questions, analyse information and carry out background research. They also use computers to process detailed reports. Many private investigators are self-employed or work freelance, so need to maintain their own accounts. Despite a glamorous image, the work of a private investigator can be unexciting and financially unrewarding but that of course depends on the Investigator.

The UK passed the Private Security Act in May 2001 but they are still awaiting the new licence, however France has had licensed Detectives since 1825 when they were established as the first “Offices of Private Police Force” by the Prefect of Police in Paris.

Operating as an unlicensed private detective is to be illegal in England and Wales, the home secretary has said.

The Home Office said it wanted to "ensure rigorous standards" in an industry where "rogue investigators" had been infringing privacy. Those who break the new rules - to be rolled out from autumn 2014 - could face up to six months in jail.

Since 2005 persons interested in joining the profession of Detective/Private Investigator in France had to obtain a degree ( diplôme ) recognised by the French Government.  This can be obtained by attending at a recognised institute/university or by validation through the board and submitting a dissitation with your experience and qualifications. V.A.E. - validation des acquis de l'expérience

The law relating to Private Investigators in France changed in 2012 and the licensing is run through a what is commonly termed as a “Quango” under the name of C.N.A.P.S ( Le Conseil National des Activités Privées de Sécurité ) .  

Private Investigators - Under-estimated and Under-used ?

A simple, yet comprehensive definition of a private investigator is ' an individual who either runs or is employed by a business which provides investigative services for a fee'. However contrary to popular belief the army of 'love-tug' detectives who pry into the private lives of respectable citizens and relax in grungy offices are going fast. Sad in a way some might say as it makes for good TV and films. However professional investigators should not rely on modern technology alone and some of the long established "gumshoe" skills along with lateral thinking are still essential qualities in the modern investigator. Our aim is to give the English-speaking investigator or private individual the opportunity for a legitimate investigation in French speaking countries or vice-versa in other English speaking countries without a language barrier. If you require an English speaking detective in France then contact us.

Private Detective, Private Eye, Private Enquiry Agent, Professional Investigator, Private Investigator, PI, or whatever else you wish to call them - if you looking for an English - French Professional Legal Service in France including Avocat - Lawyer - Solicitor - Private Investigator - Court Translater - Asset Tracer - People Finder then look no further :-

UK Mob:   +44 (0) 7818 8434545     FR Mob:    +33 (0) 76206099   EMAIL


Please note that the Directors of Portsea International formerly Anglo French Research are not members of or affiliated to The Association of British Investigators and should anybody find any links to this organisation please contact us at and we will endeavour to remove them from the offending site.