This private detective makes a living hunting down cheating partners

Sarah Gallienne describes herself as the ‘number one female detective’ in Wales and she is getting ready for her busiest time of the year




Christmas means office parties. And office Christmas parties often mean spouses cheating on their partners. And it is Sarah Gallienne’s job to catch them.

When Ms Gallienne’s company, SGI Private Investigator, is called on in by someone who suspects their partner of cheating, about 80% are found to be unfaithful.

“And within that figure it’s higher when conducted on men than on women,” says Ms Gallienne.

“I always think women wait for the signs to build up before instigating a PI, whereas men put it in place quickly.”


The Number One Female Detective in Wales

The firm markets itself as having the Number One Female Detective in Wales – and she says the gender specification is a unique selling point.

The majority of clients specifically require marital infidelity investigations.

“Through experience I find female clients, who believe they are being cheated on, prefer to talk to a woman about their marital problems as it’s personal and they feel a woman will understand,” Ms Gallienne said.

“Men in the same situation either feel the same or they contact us because they feel a woman following or surveilling a woman will go unnoticed more than a man following a woman.

“There’s a much smaller percentage of female PIs in the field. Women blend into situations well and are often underestimated so go unnoticed.”

SGI charges surveillance by the hour and per operative. Additional expenses, such as mileage, tolls, car parking are also included. The cost for tracing a person is based on a no find, no fee.

And each service is different. If a client is using a GPS tracker they can either have a report at the end of each day or they can have access to the live data and watch the movements as they happen.

Clients also get a written report at the end of each day to keep them up-to-date with the case. At the end they are given a report with all the information that has managed to be collated, such as video, photographs and tracing data.

The right side of the law

Over the years the requested methods of investigating a partner has noticeably changed, and they have to be steered back to more legal methods.

“Instead of surveillance they now ask us to breach their partner’s Whats App account, hack into a Facebook account or set up hidden cameras over their partner’s favourite chair at home to record activity on partner’s mobile phone screen they are using,” says Ms Gallienne.

“Clearly we have to set expectations with the client when they request this type of service and direct them to a more standard and legal way of carrying out surveillance.”

Popular culture has played a part in altering people’s perceptions, and as a Cagney and Lacey fan Ms Gallienne is aware of some outlandish storylines.

“Occasionally when I get a far fetched request I’ll find myself thinking ‘they’ve been watching too much TV’. Some clients perceive we have access to things we don’t.”

X factor

Ms Gallienne started the business in 2008 and the company shifted its premises from Bridgend to Swansea last year. The staff are all ex-forces, as Ms Gallienne feels that it guarantees a good grounding in investigations, procedures, law and appropriate regulations, while also having the right approach and mind-set.

And she thoroughly enjoys her job.

“I love the variety. No day is the same. The hours can be long, or you can find yourself working at unusual times, but as it’s my business and my clients I like to do the best I can for them.”

She has no desire to build an empire. “It is more about enjoying the work I do and offering a good level of service to clients. I enjoy the fact that SGI primarily works within Wales, although we do venture into England if required.”

But for now Ms Gallienne is getting ready for the growing number of enquiries as the calendar nears December.