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Difference between Enquiry and Investigation

Differences between Enquiry and Investigation

There are many important differences between enquiry and investigation. An inquiry is typically a preliminary step, used to collect basic information about a situation. In contrast, an investigation is much more comprehensive and often leads to criminal charges. Let’s take a closer look at these two concepts.

What is Enquiry?

Enquiry is a procedure whereby an investigator obtains testimony or documentary evidence from a person, usually under oath, for the purposes of conducting an investigation. The term is often used interchangeably with the term investigation.

  • In some jurisdictions, the terms are distinct, and investigators must specifically request permission to conduct an enquiry from a person who is not a party to the proceedings. Enquiries are typically conducted by police officers, but may also be carried out by private individuals or organizations.
  • The purpose of an enquiry is to gather the information that may be used to support or refute a hypothesis or theory. Enquiries may be used to gather evidence in support of a criminal prosecution, or they may be conducted purely for the purposes of gathering intelligence or information.
  • Enquiries may also be used to resolve civil disputes. Enquiries are typically conducted through interviews, but they may also involve the review of documents or other records.

What is Investigation?

Investigation is the process of gathering information to learn about something. It can be done formally, through research, or informally, through observation.

Investigation often begins with a question or problem that needs to be solved. To investigate something, you need to gather data, which can be done through collecting specimens, taking measurements, and/or recording observations.

Once you have data, you need to analyze it to look for patterns or trends. This can be done by organizing the data into tables or graphs and then looking for relationships between different variables. Investigation is an important scientific process that helps us to understand the world around us.

Difference between Enquiry and Investigation

Enquiry and Investigation are two processes that are undertaken in order to find answers to questions.

  • Enquiry is a process of collecting information from different sources in order to gain an understanding of a particular subject. The investigation, on the other hand, is a process of examining facts in order to determine the truth about something.
  • Enquiry is generally conducted for the purpose of learning, while the investigation is undertaken for the purpose of uncovering the facts about a particular issue.
  • Enquiry is often conducted through research and observation, while investigation typically involves the use of data and evidence. Enquiry is typically a more open-ended process than investigation, which often follows a more structured approach.

Enquiry typically leads to further investigation, while investigation usually results in the formulation of conclusions.


The distinctions between enquiry and investigation may be subtle, but they are important. Enquiry is a necessary first step in the investigative process, while the investigation is the actual process of researching and analyzing evidence. By understanding these differences, you can better frame your own research and investigations, as well as understand the work of others in this field.

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