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Mike Wilson gets the low-down on the shady life ofthe modern private investigator.

‘A lot ofour work is not like the glorified image you would find on television.‘ says Stephen Grant of professional investigators. (irant & McMurtric. ‘We are a very professional outfit. We have full-time staff. everyone has a company car. we have a lot of

technical equipment. and we have a high standard oftraining.’ Consequently. cases come in like flights at llcathrow. Presently they are working on about 300. most of which involve routine tasks. Having hung tip the ubiquitous dirty mac. Grant operates from a spick office foreign to the likes offhandlcr‘s Marlowe: sylph—like Frank ('annon couldn‘t squeeze through ( irant‘s door.

‘We still do divorce work and traces for finance tt‘tmpanies.’ he admits under the (‘hinese


water-torture. ‘And we still take precognition statements from witnesses for defence counsels. but most ofour work is for large. hluc-chipcompanies."I'his includes conducting checks for bugs in offices and working under-cover to detect theft.

Stressing that his own firm would never sanction illegality. he admits; "l‘here is quite a hit ofindustrial espionage taking place. so much so that we have recently im ested several thousand pounds in state-ol-the-art tie-hugging

equipment. liew hugs are placed in telephones. many are placed in the room. sometimes in the disguise of an everyday object. I have got to elttphasise that we do not hug; we hav e net er placed a hug in premises and never w ill. \\ e have equipment which seeksout these hugs. and hugging is hapi'iening moi e and more at a small lc\t'|. l or csanzple. a ti\al can put a hit: in the olliccs ofa competitor. find out what the} are tender ittg tot twin: at and come up with a slightly niort attracttn:



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