Private Security and the Investigative Process: 3rd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Private Security and the Investigative Process

3rd Edition

By Charles P. Nemeth

CRC Press

352 pages | 307 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781420085693
pub: 2010-02-09
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Detailing best practices and trade secrets for private sector security investigations, Private Security and the Investigative Process, Third Edition provides complete coverage of the investigative process. Fully updated, this edition covers emerging technology, revised legal and practical considerations for conducting interviews, and new information on case evaluation.

Written by a recognized expert in security, criminal justice, ethics, and the law—with over three decades of experience—the updated edition of this popular text covers concepts and techniques that can be applied to a variety of investigations including fraud, insurance, private, and criminal. It details the collection and preservation of evidence, the handling of witnesses, surveillance techniques, background investigations, and report writing. This new edition includes:

  • More than 80 new or updated forms, checklists, charts, and illustrations
  • Updated proprietary information from Pinkerton, Wackenhut, and other leading security companies
  • Increased emphasis on software and technological support products
  • A closer examination of periodical literature and government publications

Authoritative, yet accessible, this book is an important reference for private investigators and security professionals. Complete with numerous forms, checklists, and web exercises, it provides the tools and understanding required to conduct investigations that are professional, ethical, and effective.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Private Security Industry and the Investigative Process

The Trend toward Privatization

The Investigative Process: Private Security’s Role

Types of Investigative Activities

General Investigative Methods

General Characteristics of a Competent Investigator Introduction


Objectivity and Investigative Practice

Logic and Investigative Practice

Perseverance, Diligence, and Investigative Practice

Human Relations Skills and Investigative Practice

Ethics and the Investigative Process

Initial Interview and Case Evaluation


Initial Interview

Miscellaneous Matters at Initial Interview

Recording Interview Impressions

Case Evaluation


The Purpose of Witnesses

Types of Witnesses

Missing or Unknown Witnesses

Lay Witnesses

Expert Witnesses

Character Witnesses

Processing Witnesses


Collection of Information

The Nature of Information and the Rules of Collection

Leads and Contacts for the Private Investigator

Public Sources of Information

Federal Agencies

State and Local Agencies

Private Sources of Information

Directories, Databases, and Atlases



The Internet

Professional Associations and Groups

Auto Records

The Background Investigation

Real Property Title Search

Collection of Evidence and Preservation of the Scene


Preliminary Strategies and Responses

Scene Sketches and Other Graphic Portrayals

Rules for Sketching

Rules for Measuring

Photographic Evidence

Location of Crime Scene

Photography and Special Applications

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Evidence

Documentary Evidence

Police Records

Medical Records

Records Involving Economic Damages

Preservation of Evidence

Surveillance Techniques

Purposes and Functions

Tactics and Strategy in Surveillance

What Are the Steps of Surveillance?

What Is the Exact Objective of Surveillance?

Where Is the Location of Surveillance?

When Will Surveillance Occur

Who or What Will Be Surveilled?

Surveillance: Preparatory Steps

Personal Behavior and Attire

Surveillance Equipment

Types of Surveillance

Stationary Surveillance

Moving Surveillance

Hybrid and Other Special Surveillance Techniques

Surveillance Forms and Reports

Report Writing


Efficiency in the Investigative Process

Reports and Memory

Reports and Organizational Method during the Investigation

Reports as Proof of Services Rendered

Characteristics of Solid Report Writing

The Role of Note Taking

The Essential Qualities of a Solid Report: Accurate, Brief, and Complete

Report Design or Format

Standard Reports for the Private Investigator

Activity Reports

Major Criminal Documentation

Investigative Method and Technique: Theft/Property Offenses



Rationalizations and Justifications for Shoplifting

Shoplifting Methods

Internal Theft by Employees

Reasons for Theft

Theft Strategies

Investigating Theft

Obtaining Confessions or Statements


Defensive Techniques to Minimize and Identify Burglary and Property Losses

Tactics and Strategies

Missing or Stolen Property

Investigative Method and Technique: Insurance Cases


Application and Method

Property Claim for Cases of Arson

Workers’ Compensation

Disability Claims

Auto Liability Claims

Special Problems: Auto Theft, Fraud, and Parts Pilferage

Auto Identification Systems

Investigative Method and Technique: Background Investigations


Background Issues

Establishing Identity

Employment History

Credit History

Alternative Methods of Background Review


Consultative Services

The Polygraph Test

Comprehensive Background Report

The Security Office: Administrative Issues

Some General Principles of Office Administration

Time-Keeping Methods

The Value of Administrative Documents

Filing Systems

Set-Up and Maintenance

Tickler Files

Software Considerations




Each chapter concludes with a "Notes" section

About the Author

Charles P. Nemeth JD, Ph.D, LL.M, Chair and Professor of Legal Studies, Homeland Security and Criminal Justice,California University of Pennsylvania, California, Pennsylvania, USA

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science