PRIVATE investigators fear that the respectability of their profession may never fully recover following the News International scandal, it has emerged.
Reports of underhand, legally dubious behaviour among its members has prompted a statement from the Esteemed Guild of Freelance Investigators, which was established in 1574 to ensure the prevalence of fair play and honour among the private investigation community.
Guild president Tommy ‘Chub’ Logan, also known as Dan Checker and Morton Appleby, said: “We are forced to defend our venerable profession following a few poor decisions by a tiny minority of our fellows.
“For over four hundred years we have provided a valuable social service by fighting crime. Most especially very complicated crimes involving the beautiful troubled daughters of powerful men, missing gems with quasi-mystical properties and dark family secrets that need to be kept quiet at all costs.
“Often there’s not even any money in it. Maybe just some sex.
“Despite this, last year we donated over £4 million in unmarked notes to children’s hospitals.”
The guild has announced a series of ‘private detection family fun days’ aimed at improving public perception.
Tommy ‘Chub’ Logan, whose aliases also include Wallis Fig and Emma Bradford, explained: “There’s going to be something for everyone – ‘skip rustling’, which involves getting in skips looking for discarded personal information, ‘wheelie bin rustling’ which is broadly similar but in wheelie bins, and introductory phone tapping for the kids.
“Plus everyone gets a free cigarette with the filter cut off.”
Private investigator Stephen Malley, who runs his unnamed business from a room in a semi-derelict tenement building, said: “I worked for years doing ‘things’ to get where I am today. It’s great being able to help people.
“Especially if those people are corrupt media barons or dames with killer curves and eyes the colour of smoke.”