Legislation on private detectives

The private detective profession is regulated by the Private Security Act, 5/2014 of 4 April, and the regulations that develop it (Royal Decree 2364/1994), and by several ministerial orders, such as the Order of the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs of 7 July 2005.

In order to legally practice as a private detective, you must have a Private Detective License, issued by the Ministry of the Interior (General Directorate of the Police), in addition to obtaining a university diploma in Private Investigation, which is 3 years long. This diploma is currently taught in several Spanish universities; for example, at the University of Salamanca - Security Sciences.

The Private Security Act, Act 5/2014 of 4 April, in Article 48.1 thereof, regulates the functions of private detectives:

Private investigation services carried out by private detectives, will consist in the performance of inquiries that are necessary for the collection and retrieving, on behalf of third persons, information and evidence of behaviour or private facts relating to the following:

  1. a) That relating to the economic, work, commercial and financial scope and, in general, personal, family or social life, except those that are carried out in homes or private places.
  2. b) The obtaining of information aimed at ensuring normal development of activities taking place at fairs, hotels, exhibitions, shows, conventions, large commercial areas, public places with lots of people and similar areas.
  3. c) The conducting of inquiries and obtaining information and evidence relating to a prosecutable crimes at the request of legitimate persons in criminal proceedings.

The Law of Civil Procedure, Article 265, Law 1/2000 of 7 January, confers great importance to evidence and reports issued by private detectives since the reports we issue have a qualified nature of testimony and cannot be challenged by the other party if ratified in court.

According to the Supreme Court, a private detective is considered a privileged witness in a judicial proceeding, and are seen as a form of exclusive evidence. The activities of private detectives are valid evidence in civil, labour, administrative litigation, commercial jurisdiction, etc. It is also allowed in criminal and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in any instance.