Knocking on doors

I was sitting in a café the other day talking to my wife and I mentioned that I had a job that required me to travel to an address and make a door knock. Sounds like a typical PI job right ?. Truth is I never thought much about it, and was just casually mentioning it, when she asked who I was taking with me. Then it dawned on me that times have changed.


Back in the day…. a long time ago, likely before many reading this were born, talking to people was how coppers and PI’s got their information. Knocking on doors was commonplace, as was having a beer in the local pub with the local criminal element.  You soon learned how to immediately, as they say “get on the same page” with someone and elicit information.   But not now. Now you need to do a H&S management plan, log into some Get Home Safe app or similar and have back up for privacy, H&S and just to cover your back in case of allegations against you.


I recall back in the 80’s interviewing a lady in a house on Auckland’s North Shore for an insurance case and when I knocked on the door she answered wearing a bikini. In I went, interviewed her, took a statement in which she admitted fraud and left. Was I that naive you ask ? the short answer is probably. I was just doing my job and insurance companies would have baulked had I gone back and said I left so that I could return with another agent with double the fee of course. Looking back, I realise that was madness.


The rise of technology has meant that coppers and PI’s have turned to other, quicker ways of gathering intelligence. I cannot imagine nowadays, the local CIB going into a known bar and having a few beers with the crims, there would be all sorts of internal enquiries and claims of corruption. Likewise, over the past 15 years or so, I have seen a decline in coppers ability to actually speak to the public, never mind sit and engage. Yes, there is arguably more violence, but also less respect all round. There did used to be some rules and some respect. All this flows into the PI area because the police is still where 80% of PI’s originate.


I turn 69 this year. I will have been knocking on doors for 50 years. I still do and I still enjoy doing so.