Monitoring on the Move – How Private Investigators Track Vehicles

driving a car

Tracking movement can be difficult. While static monitoring is a simple task for any experienced agent – and OpSec Solutions employ a lot of very experienced agents – things can get much trickier once the target of your surveillance gets out on to the road.

Vehicle tracking and monitoring is one of the most difficult investigations to carry out effectively, but it’s something I’ve worked on for many years. So when it comes to tracking a car, van, or other motor transport, I’ve got some advice to share with you.

Why Would You Need to Track Vehicles?

There are many reasons to track a vehicle. Company vehicles are a significant expense for many businesses – and employees using your cars or vans for their personal errands or even to undertake other work can be an additional expense that also goes against an employees contract.

Fair use is also a consideration, especially for leased or rented vehicles. And sometimes you’ll need a specific individual monitoring, whether they’re at home or on the road.

No matter what the reasons, I’ve learned that the best method to track a vehicle are to combine technology with technique. If a discreet GPS tracker can be installed, this will provide comprehensive information on when and where a vehicle is used – ensuring that company cars are only used on company business, for example.

However, some times there is no replacement for eyes on a target, with your vehicle and its driver tailed safely and covertly by an observation team.

It’s important that this surveillance is always carried out in a legal manner.

Is Vehicle Tracking Legal?

We’ll deal mainly with fleet managers here.

According to the Data Protection Act, GPS tracking is legal (and even encouraged in some situations) as long as the employee is aware of this and consents.

This may seem counterproductive, but in many instances simply telling an employee that their vehicle will be tracked can prevent misuse before it happens. And if an employee refuses to provide consent for contractually-required tracking, then that should be a warning sign for any hiring manager.

These laws also apply to tracking an individual vehicle. If – for example – you want us to bug your husband’s car that is solely owned by him, then we’d be unable to fit a GPS tracker without consent.

In these situations, tailing and monitoring from a distance would be the legal way to observe a vehicle’s movements. This is entirely legal, but does require more time and effort on the part of your investigator.

Is Vehicle Tracking Ethical?

While the law is clear, many people ask me about the ethics of vehicle tracking.

To you, I’d say this. Keeping an eye on your own property – or your business’ property – is ethical. You’re protecting your own investments.

When it comes to tracking a personal vehicle, this is a conversation we’d have in person.

As a fully accredited member of the ABI and a number of other professional bodies, I take my professional ethics very seriously. If you want to track your husband because he’s behaving suspiciously and you want to protect your family, I’d say that’s ethical. But should you wish me to track your secretary to see if she’s single, then OpSec Solutions would definitely turn that work down on ethical grounds!

No matter if you’re tracking a single vehicle or monitoring your whole fleet, OpSec Solutions’ expert agents will put all of our skill, our tools and our talent to work on your behalf.

Let’s have a conversation.

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