An inside look at being a private investigator

North Court Investigations founder Matt Thomas first became interested in becoming a private investigator back in the 1980’s after watching the British TV series Boon. Starring the late Michael Elphick, the motor bike riding ex -fireman -turned -detective was one of the most popular shows on television.

Until 2001, the closest Matt had got to emulating his hero was a dodgy leather jacket that he was far too fond of in the early nineties. Despite running a hugely successful haulage business, he found himself languishing and needed a new challenge.  He decided to take a leap of faith and follow his life long dream to become a Private Investigator.

Starting off with a home study course, to founding one of the UK’s most successful Private Investigator agencies -he’s never looked back. Matt started off by purchasing a franchise, having decided that this would be the best way to enter the industry. Operating as a franchisee gave Matt the training, support and contacts to run a highly successful private detective agency.

Running a successful investigation agency isn’t as exciting as many people think. When Matt watched Boon all those years ago, fancying himself as a modern day lone ranger, the hours of admin weren’t exactly what he’d dreamed of!  The job of a Private Detective is wide and varied and not the high octane occupation it often is portrayed as on TV and film.  Matt’s tenacity, drive and determination are some of the qualities that are pre requisite to being a successful Private Investigator. It’s not always been smooth sailing, but his persistence and hard work have paid off.

As the term of the franchise drew to end, Matt decided to go it alone. He founded North Court Investigations, which has since become one of the UK’s leading detective agencies.

The most common requests received by North Court Investigations are, without doubt, surveillance. From unfaithful partners to businesses who have suspicions about an employee or fellow director/business partner, Matt’s team have seen it all.

Surveillance isn’t all North Court offer. They’re also the experts on helping individuals, corporations and law firms with specialist instructions such as tracing debtors, computer forensics and handwriting analysis to name but a few of their comprehensive private investigation services.

Based in the UK but offering their services all around the world, Matt has been lucky to visit places he never dreamed of going, meeting clients in Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Thailand. His team have assisted associates in countries such as Spain, France, US, and Brazil.

Matt’s individual approach has been key to the growth and success of the business. His friendly, straightforward demeanour is a breath of fresh air. The majority of people will never need the use of a Detective agency, but given the negative attention the industry has received in the press recently, (especially after the phone hacking scandal) many people are sceptical or nervous about approaching a Private Investigator.

The negative reputation that Private Investigators are often associated with is why Matt is a firm believer in regulation of the industry. As there is currently no regulating body, any one at all can set themselves up as a PI. These fly by night operators do nothing but harm the reputation of genuine, qualified Private Investigators. Regulation is due to happen within the next few years, an Matt is a keen campaigner and is a natural authority on the subject, lending his knowledge and experience to talk about it in the press to raise public awareness.

Matt no longer wears a leather jacket, but he is particularly fond of a loudly patterned shirt.

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