What is a private detective?

Private detectives are the only professionals in Spain who are authorised to conduct private investigations related to the various spheres in which natural and legal persons are active.

Article 48.1 of the Private Security Law, Law 5/2014 of 4 April, regulates the functions of the private detective, stating that “Private investigation services carried out by private detectives shall consist of conducting the necessary investigations to obtain and supply, on behalf of legitimate third parties, information and evidence on private action or conduct” relating to the economic, financial, professional, commercial, personal, family or social spheres, with the exception of private and/or self-contained places such as private homes.

You can see several examples of investigations carried out by private detectives from VESTIGERE in the Success Stories section.

Is it legal to hire a private detective?

Yes. Private detective services are covered by Law 5/2014 on Private Security. The law states that anyone can hire a detective agency as long as they have a legitimate interest in doing so.

What type of crimes can a private detective investigate?

A private detective has the power to investigate so-called “crimes prosecutable upon request from a party” (semi-public and private offences), as long as the investigation is requested by a legitimate party to the criminal proceedings. This means, a private detective cannot investigate matters related to offences prosecutable ex officio.

Does a private detective’s report possess any legal value?

Private detectives present a report describing the investigations carried out and the results observed to their clients upon completion of an investigation.

According to Article 265.1.5 of the Criminal Procedure Act, all lawsuits must be accompanied by “reports, produced by legally accredited private investigators, on the relevant information upon which the allegations are based. If this information is not recognised as fact, witness evidence will be called.”

Reports by private detectives are a form of evidence which is explicitly accepted by our Supreme Court, which has emphasised the legitimacy and frequency of their use in Spanish courts in several different judgments. If necessary, the private detective will be called to testify as a witness at the trial.

Is VESTIGERE an accredited detective agency?

The Private Security Law requires private detective agencies to be constituted/administered by accredited private detectives, as is the case of VESTIGERE, a private investigation agency accredited by the Spanish Interior Ministry and composed of private detectives with licence numbers 2035 and 2053.

Don’t worry, VESTIGERE will supply licensed and accredited private detectives for your investigation to ensure that all of the evidence obtained is completely valid.

Who can hire the services of a private detective?

Any natural or legal person may commission an investigation, as long as they have a legitimate interest in doing so.

How many days are required to complete an investigation?

Each case is completely different and will be studied and analysed before a plan is drawn up. At VESTIGERE, we offer custom-made solutions adapted to the specific needs of each client.

How much does it cost to hire a private detective?

Investigations are never the same: they vary depending on the nature of the service hired, the difficulty of the investigation, the number of investigators required, the number of days and hours necessary, the number of operations to be completed, the use of cars and/or motorcycles and the expenses incurred as part of the investigation.

VESTIGERE optimises the resources used to provide the best possible service. Request a free, no-obligation quote.

Are the data I provide and results of the investigation confidential?

Confidentiality and trust are the key values underpinning all investigations undertaken by VESTIGERE. The Private Security Regulation also stipulates that “Private detectives are obliged to maintain the secrecy of the investigations which they carry out and may not disclose information about these investigations to anyone other than the individuals who have commissioned them and the competent legal and police authorities for the exercise of their functions”.

Can I be sued for hiring a private detective to follow someone?

Never. Private detectives are authorised by law to conduct investigations and shadowing operations, once these activities have been confirmed to be of legitimate interest to the case.

I still have some questions about the private detective profession – where can I find more information?

If you wish to find out more about the private detective profession, click on the following links to download the legislation governing our activity (Law 5/2014 of 4 April on Private Security, Royal Decree 2364 and Law 1/2000 of 7 January on Civil Procedure).

Does VESTIGERE offer intelligence services?

Yes. The services offered by detectives and intelligence analysts are complementary. The team at VESTIGERE includes several intelligence analysts who specialise in assessing, incorporating, analysing and interpreting information to transform it into knowledge. 

For more information, please consult our Intelligence services.

What is the work of an intelligence analyst useful for?

Analysts process and analyses information, turning it into a value-added product which can be used to reduce the degree of uncertainty involved in decision-making. This process is very useful due to the large quantity of information available to us in this modern age: analysts select the most relevant information and interpret it to identify new lines of enquiry.

Is intelligence legal? Isn’t it considered to be spying?

The intelligence activities carried out by VESTIGERE are completely legal. Our analysts conduct OSINT (open source intelligence) which consist in finding and analysing information which is already in the public domain on public records, official gazettes, social networks, blogs, news outlets, etc.

This service cannot be considered spying since the information is obtained using legal methods, either through open sources or through the work of an accredited private detective.

If it’s just a search on social media, why can’t I do it myself?

VESTIGERE works with tools and experts which allow us to find hidden information, reveal new lines of enquiry and streamline searches, and information analysis. Moreover, VESTIGERE intelligence analysts make sure to stay up-to-date with ongoing changes in the world of OSINT intelligence, in order to update the procedures and methods used for obtaining information.

Why is it useful to hire a private investigation and intelligence company for corporate risk management?

At VESTIGERE, we take a twofold approach to corporate risk management in order to offer a more comprehensive service. On one hand, our intelligence analysts work to predict threats to companies, while on the other, our experts help those involved to manage a variety of risky situations by providing the relevant training.

Does VESTIGERE produce prevention plans?

Yes. One of our goals is to minimise the negative impacts on companies of failing to implement prevention plans or of producing inadequate plans.

What are the benefits of hiring the corporate risk management service?

Our service helps you to identify and assess the potential risks threatening your company with the aim of preventing damage (financial, physical, operational, etc.) or minimising damage when it occurs.

What are the benefits of a mystery shopping service conducted by private detectives?

Unlike the mystery shoppers usually hired by companies, private detectives are able to film their visit and include this material in the investigation report. This report may later be ratified in court.

Can private detectives on mystery shopping operations film inside establishments?

Yes. In order to fulfil the objectives of the investigation, private detectives may film inside bars and/or restaurants, shops, etc.

In what circumstances is it useful to hire a mystery shopper?

Mystery shoppers may be used not only to clarify unusual situations but also to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a company or good and bad practices by employees. 

What are the benefits of having a legal team available during a private investigation?

Our legal advisers are present from the start of the investigations, confirming their legitimacy, and continue to advise the client throughout the process on the steps required to achieve the desired results.

What areas are covered by VESTIGERE training?

At VESTIGERE, we collaborate with luxury hotels, airlines, transport companies and government institutions to deliver training and produce action plans relating to prevention and security, aimed at employees and other relevant individuals.  

Where do VESTIGERE training courses take place?

The team of trainers will travel to the site indicated by the client, which is usually their headquarters.

How can I hire VESTIGERE’s services or receive more information?

Call (+34) 91 066 62 62 or send us an email at and our team of experts will study your case carefully at no cost. We will provide you with a customised quote, which you will be asked to sign, along with a confidentiality contract detailing the scope of the investigation, if you decide to accept our quote.

What is the geographical scope of VESTIGERE’s services?

VESTIGERE works all over Spain, although its head office is located in Madrid. It also offers services all over Europe, Central and South America, and Nigeria, Angola and Mozambique.

[+230 investigations completed SUCCESSFULLY since 2017]