History of Private investigation

The founders of a private investigation business are considered to be two people.

It is a former French chief of the judicial police ( “Surete”) Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857) and the American Nathaniel Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884). Thanks Vidocq and Pinkerton private investigation has become one of the types of business, representing the market detective services on a reimbursable basis. Subjects of private investigation – as a business – have become private investigators and detective agencies.

In the USA, the first private detective agency arose in that period, when the system of police authorities have yet formed. At that time there was not a city police services or the Federal Police. Against this background, and any detective agency, which on behalf of the individuals involved in the disclosure of various criminal offenses carried out customer orders to search for missing persons and various assets.

So, as the beginning of the private investigation business I put Eugène François Vidocq. Vidocq was a typical adventurer. In his younger years he had the opportunity to play on the stage and serve in the army, steal and cheat, fight duels, and start many romance novels. For several years he spent in prison and the convict on the galleys. But in the end Vidocq went to the police. For 18 years of service in the Surete Vidocq exposed about 20 thousand criminals. However, he was dismissed in 1828 as “a former thief.” And then, thinking about how to earn a living, he came to productive thoughts. In 1834, Vidocq established “Bureau of Investigation for trade.” The subscription fee for its services initially was 200 francs a year. “Subscribe to our services – called Vidocq – and you will never become a victim of scams and other fraud. We warn in time and take care to catch your impostor. ” A year later he was already 4000 subscribers. They were merchants, bankers and industrialists. Lure in your business most able colleagues serving in Surete, Vidocq earned at the end of his career up to six million francs per year.

The first American detective agency appeared in Chicago in 1850. It was created by a native of Glasgow (Scotland), a former cooper Nathaniel Allan Pinkerton. Initially, the agency specialized in the capture of the train robbers and burglars safe, but then expanded the scope of its activities. In 1892, there were fifteen agencies. In 1929, the United States acted in a thousand detective agencies, each of which has a large peripheral network. Currently in the USA there are more than 3500 detective agencies, offices and companies. In New York City alone there are 713 registered private detective agencies and twice no longer registered.

In Canada, in addition to a whole army of private detectives- singles, there are about 200 private firms engaged in the detective business.

In France, officially registered about 300 private detective bureau, and besides them there are hundreds of “unauthorized” detective offices, called “monitoring service”, “Supervision Bureau,” and so on.

In the UK, there are a few large and many small private detective agencies. In total there are about 2,000 private detectives serving detective bureau.

In other words, in the industrialized countries, the private detective has become one of the most powerful commercial sectors.


Detective Arkady Franzevich Koshko

Detective Arkady Franzevich Koshko Arkady Franzevich Koshko (1867-?) The famous Russian detective At a meeting in 1913 in Switzerland, the International Congress of Russian investigating police detective in the “crime detection” has been recognized as the best in the world. And no wonder: the detective led the Russian Empire “the main investigator of Russia”, “Russian […]


Detective Allan Nathaniel Pinkerton

Detective Allan Nathaniel Pinkerton   Alan Pinkerton Detective Nathaniel (1819-1884). From the history of private investigation. In the USA, the first private detective agency emerged in the middle of the XIX century, when the system of police authorities have yet formed. At that time there was not a city police services or the Federal Police. […]


Detective Ivan Dmitrievich Putilin

Detective Ivan Dmitrievich Putilin Ivan Dmitrievich Putilin (1830- 1889) This famous Russian detective. Detective Ivan Dmitrievich Putilin was born in 1830 into a poor family of collegiate registrar Novy Oskol. At twenty-three years, Ivan D. entered the service in the police received a junior assistant to the warden quarterly Tolkuchem market. In the first years […]


The detective Eugène François Vidocq

The detective Eugène François Vidocq   The detective Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857) The founder of the first in the history of the detective agency Eugène Vidocq was an adventurer and a criminal. He had a chance to serve in the army, to play on the stage, steal and rob, fight duels. For many years he […]