In 2010 a total of 102,813 cases of white-collar crime were recorded in police crime statistics – an increase of 1.5% compared to the previous year. The damage caused by white-collar crime totalled 4.7 billion euros, 36% higher than in the previous year. The amount of white-collar crime using the internet as a primary tool for crime has risen significant, from 20,274 reported cases in 2009 to 31,093 in 2013, marking an increase of 53%. *

It’s important to bear the estimated number i.e. unreported cases of economic loss in mind. According to PricewaterhouseCooper’s estimations, the amount of damage caused by white-collar crime in Germany incurs costs of over 100 billion euros. Consequently, the public prosecutors and courts are pushed to their limits. Private investigators (detectives) have a clear advantage over the police investigators. The police are overstrained therefore piles of files start to collect and it’s only possible to do what is permitted. On the other hand, private detectives can do everything that isn’t prohibited. Data privacy and personal rights must be observed unconditionally. However, the scheduled new draft of the act for the protection of employee data won’t lead to the employer withdrawing any control or examination to limit damage upon substantiated initial suspicion. Under no circumstances does this allow employees to be spied on – as was the case with the Bahn, Telekom and the grocery discounter Lidl. In some of the aforementioned cases, there was a lack of any concrete and substantial initial suspicion, and the surveillances took place on a large scale, including everything, not just the matter at hand. At Lidl, they mainly involved checking how long an employee took for their break or to go to the bathroom. Controlling shoplifting was only a side matter here. The goal of detectives is to ascertain the truth, a serious detective agency will thoroughly examine whether there is substantial initial suspicion evident, or rather justified interest, namely the fulfilment of legal requirements regarding data acquisition. If the records are complete, only those that contributed to clarifying the facts of a case will be reported.

* Source: PKS – Federal Bureau of Investigation

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