Hyderabad: Looks like being a detective is the new mantra in the city. It’s been a popular profession for decades. Now, private investigation is turning into a more organised career option. Mainly pursued either through correspondence or online, private investigation is now becoming a course recognised by private agencies.
Even though not affiliated to any educational body, the demand for the course seems to be on a constant rise. Correspondence, online or certificate courses offered in the domain of private investigation usually last from three to 12 months.
A few private detective agencies, like the Sharp Detective Agency, Real Eye Detectives, Central Detectives, offer short-term certificate courses in private investigation, while some agencies offer in-house training after they hire people.
Captain D.K. Giri of the Sharp Detective Agency, said private investigation in Hyderabad is nothing like it is in movies. “People, specially youngsters, join us with the notion of becoming the next James Bond. The reality is however, different. Their initial training involves activities like sitting on a street corner and counting the number of cars of a certain colour that pass that way; exercises in noticing people and their behaviour; developing lip reading skills; predicting body language to analyse a situation; learning to be a keen observer and going that extra mile to dig out the truth,” he said.
He then added, that they are also taught the importance of a private investigator, code of ethics, crime scene investigation, linking and surveillance of suspects, identifying sources, types of crime, among other analytical activities.
A short-term basic course will cost anywhere between Rs 3,000 and 4,000, while an advanced course can cost up to Rs 20,000. After the completion of their course, a career in private investigation is a tough task. The city hosts about 90 private detective agencies and on an average, established private agencies hire about 10 payroll detectives every year.
Apart from payroll detectives (full-time), every agency also has panel detectives (part-time). Panel detectives come from a wide range of professions including doctors, lawyers, corporate employees and more.
Profession is shortlived, say veterans
Youngsters often join detective agencies with the notion that being a detective has a certain edge to it, but veterans from the field say that the careers of most private investigators are short-lived and that there are no viable courses.
According to Captain D.K. Giri of Sharp Private Detectives, everybody is a born detective. “What we try to do is just help them enhance their skills. With such courses and training programmes, we are trying to promote that private investigation is good when used for the right cause. We all work to help build relationships,” he said.
Dr P.K.N. Choudary, a psychiatrist at Chetana Hospital said, “Every career these days has scope for youngsters. They will have to work their way up to make a mark and will need to develop different sets of skills.”
An ex-detective, however, said that the grass is not that green on the other side. “The career of many investigators is short-lived. They come with big dreams only to realise that they are turning into mere spies. Many agencies also shut down much before their time and often the pay is very bad.”