The profession of Private Detective is regulated in Spain by the Private Security Act of 1992 (Ley de Seguridad Privada 23/1992, de 30 de Julio) and by the Regulations implementing this Act: Royal Decree 2364/1994 (Real Decreto 2364/1994) and Home Office and Justice Ministerial Order of 1995 (Orden del Ministerio de Justicia e Interior de 7 de Julio de 1995).
The duties of private investigators are regulated by section 19 of the mentioned act. Private detectives will, at the request of a natural or corporate person:
Obtain and provide information and evidence on private behaviour and private facts
Investigate punisheable offences only at the request of the legitimate parties of the criminal proceedings
Carry out surveillance in fairs, hotels, exhibitions and similar aereas.
This section is completed by section 101.2 of the Regulation that defines a private fact as:
“For the purpose of this article facts and actions will be considered private when they affect the economic, laboral, commercial , or financial sphere and personal, familiar or social life, not including the part of this life that takes place in private premises or spaces.”
Private Detectives are not allowed to investigate criminal offences. They must report any offence of this kind of which they receive some intelligence to the appropriate authority. They must transfer to this authority, too, all the obtained information and instruments which are related to the offence.
Private investigators will not, under any circumstances, use, for the purpose of their investigations, personal or technical means that infringe the rights to privacy and to the privacy of communications (These are fundamental rights to any citizen which are recognised by section 19 of the Spanish Constitution)
For the reasons stated above, it can be concluded that Private Detectives have a well defined and legitime scope of action, and that their occupation is sole and exclusive.
Sole, because it can only be practised by Private Detectives that are qualified by the Home Office
Exclusive, because no one who has not been qualified to do so can perform the duties of a Private Detective
RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
The New Rules of Civil Procedure define Private Detective evidence as different from expert and witness evidence. According to section 265 of these Rules, when the facts which support the claims of the reports written by Private Detectives are not accepted as true, witness examination will be held.
Section 382 of the Civil Procedure Laws deals with the examination of the facts of these reports and states that:
A witness won’t be impeached on the grounds of not having sufficient interest in the cause, when the report under examination has been commissioned by one of the parties.
The author of the report will identify it and ratify its contents before the examination takes place.
The examination will be restricted to the facts appearing in the report.
To practice as private Detective it is neccessary to obtain University Degree issued by the Criminology Institute (Instituto de Criminología). This qualification can be issued as well by an equivalent Official Centre, offering Studies in Private Investigation, as long as this centre is homologated by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture.
When these studies have been finalised, the Home Office, and the Dirección General de Policía (General Police Directorate), will issue the T.I. P or Tarjeta de Identidad Profesional, (Professional Identity Card) which will qualify for professional practice. To obtain this card the Detective must submit to the mentioned institutions his or her qualifying degree and other documents as required.
The front of the TIP card includes an identificatory picture of the detective and his license number, sealed by the Comisaría General de Seguridad Ciudadana (General Security Police Division). The back of the T.I. P. Card includes the name and the ID number of the Private Detective.