Posted on June 29, 2016 by staff

Investigating how tech can make undercover work ethical


Eddie Whittingham decided to put his investigative skills to use by establishing his own business – and it is growing thanks to an incubator site in Manchester.

The ex-police officer turned solicitor founded a private investigation firm after becoming disappointed with the available services.

“The sector is entirely unregulated and you don’t need qualifications in order to operate, which is quite shocking,” he says.

“What I wanted to do is deliver a much more professional, ethical and reliable service – and make it a professional service that can stand shoulder-to-should with banks, law firms and big businesses.”

Technological advances have led to more opportunities for fraud and more opportunities to catch it.

“As you can imagine, I use quite a lot of technology especially when it’s the undercover work,” he says of Whittingham Corporate Investigations.

“For example, I’ve got very discreet cameras and body cams which you can use covertly.

“I have police-grade equipment that I’ve got plenty of experience using and I’m constantly looking out for new technology and products, and how I can utilise that to help my clients.”

The business is based at Entrepreneurial Spark in Manchester. The dedicated ‘Hatchery’ at the incubator site was established by NatWest in partnership with KPMG and is currently home to 80 businesses, many with a tech background.

Each intake gives the entrepreneurs a base for an initial six months and access to NatWest staff and mentoring sessions with KPMG.

Whittingham Corporation Investigations is still in its infancy – the business began trading on the first day he moved into Entrepreneurial Spark – and Whittingham says he applied for the hub mainly to help validate his idea.

“Being here was a turning point for me as I’d had an idea, wasn’t sure whether it was something I should definitely pursue as I’d left a lucrative career to follow this.

“Luckily, the team really liked it so I got on board so that catapulted me to where I am now.

“Without wanting to use the term ‘private investigation’, that really is the work I do.

“Being able to be associated with NatWest and KPMG, it really does add that level of credibility to the business.”