What is it like to be a private investigator

Detective: Profession: private detective

What exactly does a detective do? How do you become a private investigator and which tasks do you have to master? Private detective Alexander Schrumpf explains that to you here

Private detective Alexander Schrumpf

My name is Alexander Schrumpf, I am 40 years old and have been working as a private detective since 1993. In fact, detective is not a protected job title. That means that anyone can just call themselves that. However, you can - like me - do an apprenticeship at the "Central Training Center in the Detective Trade" (ZAD) and then call yourself a "certified detective".

I have been offering detective seminars for children and young people since 1998. Since then I have been the only "real detective" who actually answers questions from interested youngsters.

Since then, I've entertained nearly 15,000 junior detectives. You can find out more about the portal: www.junior-detektiv.de and feel free to contact me.

What does a detective do?

Actually only two things: he researches and he observes. That is, he investigates things and he observes people or objects. Investigations include looking up things in libraries and archives, scouring the Internet, or asking witnesses. Here the detective does not always reveal himself, we call that questioning under "legend".

In observation, camouflage is the top priority. When chasing a target, the most important thing is not to be discovered or exposed.

In addition, a detective also sometimes conducts crime scene investigations. A lot of instinct is required here, because absolutely nothing must be changed at the crime scene. That means not to leave any traces of your own and not to change the silent witnesses of the crime.

If a thief cannot be convicted by observation, there may be the possibility of unmasking him by means of a thief trap. For example, if you apply silver nitrate to a bank note designed as a bait, the thief gets black hands after the deed is complete.

Detective work: a varied job

The best thing about my job is the constant variety. Again and again I am entrusted with new tasks that I haven't had before. It is sometimes boring, for example, when I lie in wait for hours in front of a house and the target person just does not come out. But I think the exciting tasks outweigh the rest by far.

As a rule, it does not become dangerous if you work as a private investigator. The good detective always goes undetected and stays in the background. The collected results are usually sent to the police as an investigation report, which then initiates the further steps and takes on the more dangerous part. That would be asking too much of the private investigator, after all, detectives in Germany have no special rights and are not allowed to carry weapons.

The detective's advice for budding young detectives

If I could interest you in my job with the introduction, I would like to give you a few pieces of advice. If you want to become a good detective, you should try to get the best education possible. It starts at school. You should be well versed in all areas. In addition to a good memory and detailed powers of observation, you should also have flexibility and, above all, perseverance.

Your Alexander Schrumpf

Behind the scenes cinema tip: Rico, Oskar and the Tieferschatten

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A day in the life of a detective

Today my day starts at 5:30 am with an employer’s order: "Find out what my employee does during his illness."