FAQ sarah gallienne investigations

General FAQ

1. Why Would I need to use a Private Investigator & How do I engage your services?

  • To help you investigate a matter which the relevant Public body  wont or cant assist you with.
  • Quite often clients come to us because the Police have not investigated as fully as clients would have expected,
  • or CPS require further proof but cannot obtain it themselves
  • or Solicitors are bound by the legal rules & regulations and actually tell their clients what information they need to assist their client and suggest they use a PI to get it!

To engage our services: Before commencing a private investigation we discuss with clients what the aims and objectives of the investigation are; this can either be done via email or by phone, or a client consultation locally for those who prefer to meet face to face (we do charge for face to face consultations). We will advise you as to the service we can offer, cost of the service required (providing a estimate/quotations by email if required) and timescale for completion of job.

Having discussed you requirements and advised cost/timescale we require formal client instruction in writing by email. we do this so both parties know what is required, and can refer to what has been agreed in writing. Depending on the complexity of the job, we may request clients to complete and return a brief instruction document which we supply via email, outlining all the details pertinent to your enquiry and what you want to achieve specifically. Its imperative we have that in writing to ensure all points are covered when doing the job.

On receipt of required deposit and completed instruction document – we confirm availability, diarise the job and reserve the personnel. (Only once deposit is received will personnel be allocated/reserved for your task.)

Our preferred communication after initial contact is via email, so that both client and SGI have a written record to refer to. With email accessible from Smartphones it allows both sides to communicate on the go.


2. Is this confidential?
Absolutely Yes. In every case we undertake we will only give out information about you if we have a duty to do so by a court of law. Otherwise you can be assured than any information you give us will be kept completely confidential.Your confidentiality is guaranteed to be our highest priority.


3. Do you operate legally?
We operate within all the statutory regulations which govern our industry, as our reputation is important to us.


4. Can I use what you provide in Court?
Our Reports and photographic stills/video footage are provided in a format which is user friendly for Court, however clients must seek legal guidance as to whether it is admissible in court if they plan to use it in a Court of Law; we cannot and will not advise on this, as every clients case is different and its not our place to. Your solicitor is best placed to advise on this as they know the intricacies of your case.


5. What methods of payment do you accept?
Please see below – For more info on how to pay please click here to visit our “Payment…” page.

Bank Transfer / BACS

Credit Cards

Cash: For Clients who can meet Locally

We do accept Cash, primarily to assist clients who wish to instruct us quickly and are able to meet somewhere local to the Office, subject to availability.

For clients wishing to instruct us on services that require payment upfront – cleared funds need to be in place before we commence any work.


6. Do you offer your services to clients worldwide?
Yes we’re happy to do so – for clients outside of the UK we only accept payment by bacs (bank/wire transfer). Cleared funds must be held in advance for non UK clients.


7. How will your details appear on my statement?
* If you pay using bank transfer your statement will say “S Gallienne”.

* If you pay  through Paypal your statement will say “SGI”.

* If you pay through Paya Card Services  your statement will say  PayaProfessional


8. What’s your pricing structure?
We try to keep it simple for everyone – depending on the type of job we either quote a fixed fee/hourly rate or our  Tracing Services are done on a No Find / No Fee.


9. Can I meet a representative of SGI to discuss my requirements?
A client consultation can be arranged, however we do charge for our time. To cover our time/travel expenses a set fee is payable for a 2 hour client consultation – this  needs to be paid for prior to the scheduled  appointment.

They can be held at any time subject to our agreement/availability.


Surveillance Investigations & Static Obs:-

1. Will my partner find out I’m checking on them?
No one should ever know they are being investigated and we would never divulge the nature of our enquiries to ANY party. Our clients identity / instructions are totally confidential.


2. What hours/days will you cover?
Any our client requires – subject to availability.


3. How do you decide how many operatives make up the team?
We recommend the use 2 operatives for mobile surveillance, as from experience we feel this is the minimum number that can achieve the best results. As we’re judged by our results, we like to do the best we can.

Some clients opt for 1 operative plus a tracker as the tracker gives a weeks worth of intelligence and acts as a back up to the 1 operative when on surveillance. Some clients take it a step further by using a tracker for a week to identify patterns/routines/addresses of interest and collect intelligence –  to then know what days/times to focus the surveillance on.

Ultimately if our client feels one operative suits them best for whatever reason then we’re happy to accommodate having made client’s aware of the risks associated with the use of only one operative.


4. Do you use trackers on the subject’s vehicle when doing a surveillance job?
That is a separate service which clients can request, to run alongside the surveillance.


5. How do you keep your clients up-to-date of progress throughout the job?
We send a  email summary at end of shift to advise clients what activity has taken place throughout the shift (as a minimum). If clients require more regular updates this can be accommodated if requested, subject to it being practical to do so, without jeopardising the job we’re on.


6. What do you give to the client at the end of the job?
We provide a detailed, typed report, with time/dated stills included, via email.

We also provide separately: All video footage with time/date stamp applied, (this may include: video camera,  covert body camera or vehicle footage) gained from operatives.


7. Do you require a deposit?
Yes, payment is required prior to commencing any surveillance/static observations, unless you have an account with us.(Accounts are available to clients who have on-going/contractual work with us)


8. How much notice do you need to do surveillance?
The more notice the better to guarantee our availability. Naturally we will do our best to cover short notice jobs. The more notice we have the better we can plan / recce the location surveillance is to commence.

No preparation work will be done until the job is confirmed (we hold funds).


For the True Definition of the word Surveillance – click here

GPS Vehicle Tracker Hire:-

1. How quickly can you deploy Tracker & When do you fit tit?
We can usually deploy within 24-48hrs from instruction.

We deploy during the hours of darkness ideally,  when no one is about – on any day of the week. If client can provide access during the day to the required vehicle, with no threat of compromise – deployment can be considered then too.


2. Do you need access to the  vehicle?
Deployment of Tracker is attempted on the assumption we have access to the outside of the vehicle.


3. How long will the battery last?
That depends on how much movement the tracker logs (as it sleeps when there is no movement) and which tracker we supply for your job. Some last for 7-10 days and some last for up to 6 months. We have different units to suit clients’ requirements, dependent on the duration of the hire booked.


4. Do I need any special software to be able to view the tracker control panel on my pc / or on my smartphone?
To view via your pc, you will need Silverlight – if you’ve not already got it, you’ll be prompted to download it. We’ve found through client experience Silverlight may not be compatible with Google Chrome, but works wonderfully with Internet Explorer.


Accident Investigations:-

1. What type of accident do you cover?
Any type of accident


2. Who will you take statements from?
Anyone who is willing to give one / you feel it’s appropriate for us to approach and can offer some benefit to the investigation.


3. Why would I need you to do an accident investigation following a road traffic accident – if I’m insured won’t my insurers do it?
It’s up to your insurers to decide if they feel it warrants investigation.  We are available if you feel you want an independent investigation done for whatever reason.


 4. If I ask you to attend the scene of the accident – what do you do?

  • We take photos of the layout of the accident scene from different distances/angles – a minimum of 10 – 12
  • We draw a detailed sketch plan of the area of where the accident happened – showing where the parties involved were
  • We include a short written report of the accident scene


GPS Tracker Purchase:-


Q. How quickly will I receive my Tracker once Order placed?
A . We aim to dispatch tracker on Next Working Day. Trackers are sent via Courier/Parcelforce on a “Next Working Day” Insured service.

Q. Will the tracker work once I remove it from the box?
A . We highly recommend that you charge your tracker Fully for the first time. Once your tracker is fully charged the battery light indicator will remain a solid green/it will show as fully charged on the control panel (when tracker is in signal)

When turning the device on for the first time, you must switch it on either outside or next to a window, where it will get a good signal. This is so that the device can establish its connection with the GPS. You may be prompted to  visit https://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/ to download Silverlight software on your PC. Once downloaded you may have to restart your PC for it to update all the settings.

Q. Do I have to call the tracker customer service to activate my device?
A . No, our Trackers allows you complete freedom. Your tracker has already been activated and top ups applied(purchased)  on Dispatch.

Q. How do I add credit if we are situated out side of the UK?
A . Visit our website at http://www.sgi-privateinvestigator.co.uk  where you can purchase Top Ups, regardless of which country your in.

Q. Do Credits I Buy Show Instantaneously?
A. Your Purchase/Payment has to be authorised, which then triggers the order to Top up Your Tracker ID, and the systems involved take a short period to update. We’d suggest you don’t leave it until the last minute to top up as some systems involved have been known to take up to 24 hrs to update, but this is not the Norm.

Q. What are Position & SMS Credits?
A.  You use a Position Credit every time your tracker reports back on its position. You can instruct your tracker to update it’s position from every 5 seconds to 1 hour via the Commands on the Control Panel. Each time you change a setting such as the above it sends a sms message to the unit to update – this uses 1 sms credit.

– SMS credits are used if you send a command from your Tracker Control Panel to your GPS tracker to change its reporting time, or if you ask your tracker to send you an SMS alert to your phone.

Q. Does the tracker have a warranty and if I have a problem what is the procedure?
A . The tracker has a 12 month warranty from the date of purchase. If you do have a problem then you must contact us. If we cannot fix the problem and the warranty is valid, then we will dispatch a new unit to you, on receipt of the old. The trackers themselves are very reliable if you do experience problems its more likely to be a signal related problem as mobile providers do have issues from time to time with storms etc.

Q. How long does the battery last on the tracker?
A . Look at the Data Product Specifiction PDF, supplied on each Tracker  on the website for detailed information specific to that product. They can last up to 6 months or longer dependent on how often it logs positions, and how poor the signal is.

Q. Is My Trackers Battery Rechargeable?
A. Yes, they are fully rechargeable Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries. Each GPS tracker is supplied with a battery charger, which you plug into a wall socket in the same way you would charge a mobile phone. Keep an eye on the Control Panel where it shows what % charged the Tracker is. You can set it up to receive a sms/email when the battery level reaches a low % too, for peace of mind.

Q. Is the tracker waterproof?
A . Please See each Trackers Individual Product Specification sheet

Q. Will my tracker work on holiday?
A . The tracker will work 24/7 in most countries around the world, they are Quad Band trackers, designed to work worldwide. you don’t need to make any adjustments to the tracker/control panel before it goes abroad.

Q. Can I track my tracker indoors?
A . The tracker has restrictions under very extreme conditions. This does not mean that it will not give you a fresh position. Any GPS device has its limitations. If you are inside a room with no windows and a solid concrete roof then the chances of obtaining a valid GPS position are very thin. The tracker has a very sensitive GPS receiver. This helps the device to obtain a fix very quickly.

Q. What is “Battery Save Mode”?
A. There is an option on your Tracker Control Panel to turn your tracker off for a period of time to save battery life/so that it wakes up at predetermined times, such as every 2 or 4 hours. It will then send a GPS location fix to your Control Panel and then goes back into Battery Save Mode. When you want your GPS tracker to go back into live tracking mode, switch off Battery Save, and when it next wakes up it will go to 30 second live reporting.

Q. Do I have To Do Any Maintenance on the Tracker?
A. No! You’ll need to Keep it in Credit/Toped Up, (Sim card’s are deactivated after 3 months if unused) and Charge it up in plenty of time when you need to use it.

We strongly recommend turning on your tracker/putting it an area of signal and allowing it to log a few positions a minimum of every month – it keeps it all in tip top working order.

Q. Can you tell me Where / How to deploy Tracker?
A.  Deployment of a  tracker is a skill. We cant advise where to deploy Tracker as each car differs in how its made. We do provide Helpful Tips/Guidelines for Deployment to clients who have purchased a Tracker from us.

If you don’t feel comfortable with deploying tracker you’ve purchased – please speak with us about us deploying/retrieving the tracker for you & get a costing to do so.

Use of the Tracking Control Panel

Monitoring your trackers movements is via your own tracker control panel, this you log-into via your Smartphone, Tablet, and Laptop or Desktop .(You may need to install Silverlight software on your PC if not already installed)  Access is available 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an Internet connection. Via your control panel you can set all the parameters you require for your GPs tracking device, such as position reports and movement. You can also set your SMS text alerts, to be notified as to changes of the tracked items situation.


Admin Control Panel – Getting Started

On arrival your tracker will need charging, once charged you will need to take it outside (safe area) for it to pick up the satellites, before its activity will show on the Control Panel. (For trackers that have a flashing light in the casing this light will flash once when it makes contact with the GPS satellite.)

Log into the Admin Control Panel using your Tracker ID supplied, you will see your tracker in live real time at its location on the admin panel.

Q. Can I use the software to track my tracker on more than one computer?
A . Yes you can there are no restrictions. If your at a friends house and want to see where the Tracker is in real time just log into the Control Panel at the website provided.

Q. Can I track more than one device in my Control Panel?
A . Yes, you can view as many devices as you like in your control panel.











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