Terms & Conditions
Focus Detectives Code of Practice Terms & Conditions
The following procedures, set out below, form the basis upon which Focus Detectives carries out its professional service for clients. In accordance with good business practice and within a set of generally agreed principals and code of conduct, it sets out as clearly as possible, in general terms, what standards of service may be expected by Focus’s clients. Similarly, it also sets out what Focus may expect from its clients in return.
Where the name Focus is used throughout this document the name is deemed to also refer to the trading names of Focus Detectives
- Hours of Business
1.1 Focus offer a 24 hour service.
1.2 We are pleased to see clients by appointment at our offices, but we are also happy to see clients at their home or at their business premises, if this is more convenient.
1.3 Instructions for overseas assignments can be taken at our Head Office in London.
- Responsibility and Communication
2.1 Instructions can be given over the telephone, in a personal meeting at any of the venues mentioned above, or in writing via email or fax. Wherever possible, instructions will be confirmed by the client in writing, thus ensuring clarity of instruction and increasing efficiency.
2.2 Should there be any aspect of our work or service with which you are not entirely happy – which we trust will be unlikely – please raise the matter with our Manager at the earliest possible opportunity. In writing to email firstname.lastname@example.org
2.3 You will be informed of the name of the person that is handling your case and where appropriate, of any other lines of communication, and points of contact.
2.4 When you telephone our office wherever possible you will be put through to the appropriate person to take your instructions, or the person that is already dealing with your case. However, if they are unavailable when you telephone, please speak with an assistant/clerk who may be able to deal with your enquiry, take your instructions, or take a message.
2.5 Focus Detectives make every attempt to verify the credentials of clients, to establish that they have lawful reasons to instruct an investigation to be conducted.
2.6 Focus Detectives will carry out all investigations within the confines of the law, and within the bounds of morality and professional ethics.
2.7 Our prime commitment is to our clients and to respect the best interest of clients by maintaining the highest standard of proficiency, and reporting to clients all the facts ascertained, whether they be advantageous or detrimental, and nothing be withheld from clients, save by dictates of law.
2.8 We will respect the privacy of clients and their lawful confidences, and ensure that services are adequately secure to protect privacy and to guard against inadvertent disclosure of private information.
2.9 All our staff are committed to delivering a high quality of service, in what we hope is as helpful and friendly a manner as possible. We employ staff with the relevant knowledge, skills and competencies to meet the needs of our clients, with a commitment to perform all professional duties in accordance with the highest moral principles, in a manner which will not bring the industry into disrepute, and to ensure that all employees, or other persons paid to assist an investigation, adhere to this code of ethics.
2.10 We may from time to time use 3rd party sources and/or personal to complete an investigation.
- External Third Parties including:
(a) Service providers who provide Investigative or allied services solely in connection with your matter
- We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes.
3.1 Focus Detectives will make every effort possible to ensure the accuracy of any information (in any form) supplied, to the best of the knowledge, information and belief of Focus. Information supplied will be rechecked if it is subsequently found to be incorrect.
3.2 Any information (in any form) supplied by Focus is done so on the understanding that it is for the sole use of the instructing client and any such information (in any form) shall not be disclosed, transmitted or copied in any way whatsoever, without the written permission of Focus Detectives
3.3 Should any information (in any form) supplied by Focus be subsequently passed to any third party, by any means whatsoever without Focus Detective’s permission (as referred to above) Focus Detectives shall not be responsible for any liability, loss, loss of profit, additional expense and any form of damages whatsoever for such unauthorised disclosure.
- Bespoke Equipment
4.1 Where equipment has been obtained and/or constructed to a customer’s specification and at their request,
Focus Detectives retains the right to charge the full quoted fee and disbursements should there be any change in the customer’s requirements irrespective of reason or circumstances.
4.2 All equipment is dispatched from our office in, is thoroughly checked in full working order before dispatch, any items not received in full working order need to be reported to our office within 24hours of receipt.
4.3 Any bespoke equipment is non-returnable and non-refundable.
5.1 For our scale of charges please refer to our price list, or to any agreement reached, specific to your particular contract with the Focus Detectives.
5.2 Rates stated may not be appropriate in cases of exceptional urgency, complexity or responsibility. Where such circumstances exist, we must reserve the right to revise rates by mutual agreement.
5.3 Estimates are given on the basis that the case proceeds reasonably smoothly and without undue complication or delay: If it seems that these factors will cause the estimate to be exceeded we will give you as much notice as possible, and reserve our right to revise the estimate.
5.4 Fees are payable whether or not a case is successfully concluded or completed unless superseded by prior agreement, as may be the case in some instances, for certain categories of service.
6.1 Our charges are payable immediately upon completion of the assignment and our account being rendered, in the absence of any prior agreement (such as for legally aided matters) for the payment of a client account. In most circumstances our clients are asked to pay a retainer fee (deposit) before the commencement of any enquiry. In certain matters full payment may be required prior to commencement of the investigation.
6.2. Any disbursements that we incur on your behalf are payable by you in advance, and therefore we do ask you to settle such amounts promptly, or risk delays to your case.
6.3 Payments can be accepted by the following methods: – Cash, Cheque, Bank Transfer and on-line.
7.6 In the event of written cancellation by the client of any service prior to the service being commenced, the client shall be responsible for all costs incurred by the company for administration, due diligence and file creation usually 50%. Payment of these costs becomes due immediately.
7.7 In respect to surveillance enquiries, or any other ‘pre- booked’ investigation, written cancellation within 72 hours will be liable to 50% of the fee quoted whilst cancellation 48hrs or less will render the full fee liable.
7.8 These terms and conditions shall be governed by English Law and any dispute arising out of or in connection with the same shall be determined by the English Courts, and for these purposes ‘written cancellation’ refers to email.
- Long distance Selling rules
8.1 Due to the nature of the services provided Focus Detectives opt out of the long distance selling rule, as the majority of cases commence immediately telephone instruction / email instructions are received by us, for the best benefit of our clients.
8.2 In line with our data protection policy, please be aware that all closed case files are destroyed within a six week period. If you require further clarification please contact your case manager.
9.1 Due to the nature and speed that an investigation is required to commence, we are happy to undertake enquiries from telephone instructions, but we would ask that clients give us as much detail as possible to confirm their identity, due to the due diligence we need to perform, to ensure we are acting within legal and moral guidelines and in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the World Association of Professional Investigators in which we hold Membership. We are able to supply written contracts but in the absence of this, we rely on our telephone contract/verbal agreement. All dates and times of all telephone calls are recorded.
We collect, use and share data primarily in the exercise of our regulatory functions. Those functions – and our duties and powers – are chiefly found in primary legislation – the Legal Services Act 2007, the Solicitors Act 1974, Administration of Justice Act 1985 and the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. We also collect and use data to comply with our duties with equality legislation including the Equality Act 2010.
The most important changes are:
We set out exactly what types of information we collect, when and detail what we use your personal information for;
- We explain when others may be able to see your identity;
- We set out clearly and concisely in what situations we pass on any of your personal information to anyone, including information about the sub-processors who process personal information on our/your behalf;
- Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes;
- All information collected is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary;
- We include information about how long we keep personal date for – usually 6 weeks after the end of a case when the files are destroyed;
- Your data is processed lawfully, fairly and transparently and is processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data;
- Contact details for our Data Protection Officer is available
Why we collect your personal information:
How long we keep information;
- How we keep information secure;
- Your rights;
- Who we provide the information to;
- You are aware of all the information we hold about you;
- Information sharing and third parties;
- Information collected from third parties, if any.
Personal data is defined in the GDPR as any information relating to an identified or identifiable person. It can include obvious data like your name, address, telephone number, DOB, National Insurance Number; Ethnicity, Gender, gender reassignment and/or one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, mental identity of that person. GDPR also creates additional rules for sensitive personal data such as information about a subject’s ethnicity, health, trade union affiliation, biometrics etc and for ‘special category data’ such as details of criminal convictions and data relating to children. We only collect special category data as specifically set out in GDPR. This information is treated with strict confidence.
Data may also be processed because it is necessary for the pursuit of our legitimate interests and/or the legitimate interests of others.
We will never supply your personal data to any third party except where you specifically request us to do so or we are required to do so by law.
- to be informed;
- to access;
- to rectification;
- to erase;
- to restrict processing;
- to data portability;
- to object
There may be occasions where we process data to comply with legal obligations, particularly in the context of legal proceedings and/or compliance with requests by law enforcement agencies. We will not generally rely on consent as a basis for processing personal data. In the limited circumstances where we may rely upon consent, we will specifically obtain this in the course of collecting the data. We may also use data to improve our level of service. Where we do this, we do it to help inform us how to improve the way we work since both we and those we deal with have an interest in us doing so.
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure in order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedure to safeguard and secure all information.
We are under a general duty to keep personal data and information confidential. Where we share information, we take all reasonable steps to keep it secure, use it fairly and ensure that data protection safeguards are in place. We have in place on all computers Malware protection. We use secure portals and encryption tools when necessary to ensure data in transit is protected. We apply best practice in terms of information security, in line with the ISO:27001 standard and adopt a privacy by design approach in developing new systems and processes involving personal data, considering the rights of individuals and the risks involved at the start of any project to make sure we build in suitable controls.
We also notify you if a data loss event occurs that results in discrimination, damage to reputation, financial loss, loss of confidentiality or any other significant economic or social disadvantage.
Where Focus Detectives receive personal data from clients further to retainers entered into with this, the same is processed lawfully and securely. Obtain undertakings from such third parties in line with our own policy.
Depending on the information we hold about you, and the reason for us holding it, you have certain rights which are set out below. We need to satisfy ourselves as to your identity. Please therefore send us proof of who you are so that we are sending the information to the right person. We will accept the following as proof:
- A copy of your birth certificate;
- A copy of your passport
Do not send original documents. You will also need to let us have a postal or email address so that we can send you the information. We ask that you mark the covering envelope or email as ‘Confidential’. In most instances, we will provide the information to which you are entitled within four weeks of receipt of a valid request. Requests which are complex or numerous may however take up to three months; Requests which are considered manifestly unfounded or excessive will be refused.