The detective Eugène François Vidocq


The detective Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857)

The founder of the first in the history of the detective agency Eugène Vidocq was an adventurer and a criminal. He had a chance to serve in the army, to play on the stage, steal and rob, fight duels. For many years he spent in prison and hard labor, often ran out and even earned the flattering nickname “King of Risk” in the criminal environment.


… However, thirty years, once again in prison, detective Vidocq decided to do away with criminal records and police to offer their services as a secret informer. In 1811, he designed and established in Paris the organization “Surete” ( “Safety”) – the world’s first Criminal Police Service. For 18 years of service in the “Surete” Vidocq and his colleagues exposed at least 17 thousand criminals, 400 of which were sent to the guillotine. However, in 1828 numerous detractors detective forced him to submit his resignation.


Once virtually destitute, in 1833 he established a detective Vidocq “Bureau of Investigation for trade” – the world’s first private detective agency, which was also the first in the history of the service business intelligence. The Bureau was engaged not only finding criminals and exposing the adultery, but also consulting: here for 20 francs card merchants can inquire about its business partners to determine their degree of honesty. During the year the number of customers Vidocq detective agencies has increased to four thousand, the business community has become good form for the transaction to bring a certificate from the Office of Vidocq.


The detective Eugène Vidocq worked until his death, which overtook him May 11, 1857, shortly before the 82 th anniversary. He developed the latest techniques for the time of the criminal investigation, and has written several books – own memoirs, documentaries detectives, research in criminology.