Private Investigator: surveillance techniques

When it comes to surveillance, private investigators are experts. Highly skilled in all areas of surveillance, they provide a critical service in areas such as fraud, tracing missing persons/persons of interest and corporate security. 

There are numerous reasons for hiring a private investigator, but if you feel your case my need surveillance as part of your investigation then it important to know what that may entail and what your private investigator should be doing to get the best achievable outcome for you. 

What is surveillance?

Surveillance is the continuous, close monitoring of a person, location, or activity to gain information or to watch over something for protection purposes. 

It is a tool utilised by the private investigative and security industry to help discover wrong-doing and provide actionable evidence in cases where legal wrongdoing has been ascertained.

Techniques used in surveillance

There are many surveillance techniques and solutions that can be used to help a private investigator with their case. Surveillance is often one of the best tools private investigators have when conducting an investigation in which outside individuals are involved. 

  • Mobile Surveillance

      Mobile surveillance is one of the most common techniques private investigators

employ. This requires the covert monitoring and tracking of person(s) of interest across either by foot or by car and creating a dossier on their movements with supporting photographic and video evidence. 

  • Static Surveillance

Static surveillance is when private investigators will covertly monitor a particular location of interest. This may be a house, an organisation, company building or car park and may require continuous surveillance or monitoring at specific dates and times. The benefit of this surveillance technique is the ability for a private investigator to provide a full report of the location in question, including photos, videos, vehicle details and timings. This can give you actionable evidence and is particularly useful for proving subletting, fly-tipping, the breaking of custody arrangements and benefit fraud.  

  • Electronic Surveillance

Private investigators are experts in using the latest technology to survey and monitor a range of media. If they have permission to do so, they can access video and audio recordings, corporate phone call records and computer activity to find out information relevant to your case. 

  • GPS Tracking 

Private investigators are legally allowed to track vehicles using state of the art GPS tracking devices if the owner of a vehicle, or fleet of vehicles, has consented to the tracking of those vehicles using GPS technology. This allows Private Investigators to gather data and surveillance footage in cases of suspected vehicle misuse, moonlighting, and corporate sabotage, giving their client the data needed to prove wrongdoing in a court of law. 

What is counter surveillance?

This type of private investigation can help detect unlawful or unwanted monitoring. Whether it’s hidden cameras, voice recorders or covert tracking, private investigators can gain evidence of the perpetrators to help you put a stop to it. Where and if required, private detectives can also use the latest technology to block out surveillance devices so you can continue with your day-to-day life. 

If you are wanting to take electronic counter measures to identify or prevent eavesdropping, then debugging must be carried out by a qualified operative who can carry out a full electronic sweep of the area.  

What techniques do private investigators use? 

  • Sweeping: This technique is used to discover and identify any surveillance devices in an area or specific location
  • Detecting and disabling technology such as trackers, recorders, and cameras that may be located in the area. 
  • Blocking or using audio jammers to disable any listening devices to help protect sensitive conversations. 
  • Continued surveillance to find out if you, or a member of your household or company is being followed or surveyed. 
  • Identify any cyber hacks or breaches of security by monitoring computer and phone networks. 

What types of investigations and cases need surveillance? 

Private investigators can provide general investigations and surveillance to cover a multitude of reasons. From illicit activity to tenancy fraud, private detectives can implement surveillance to provide a full report as part of your investigation, including photos, videos, vehicle details and timings. Giving you the actionable evidence you need to take things further. The type of investigation that may need surveillance tools can vary, but surveillance is a key element of the following types of cases: 

  • Subletting 
  • Stalking
    • Fly-tipping 
  • Drug dealing 
  • Anti-social behaviour 
  • Benefit fraud
  • Tracing a person of interest or asset tracing 
  • Corporate espionage
  • Employee absence
  • Insurance claims 
  • Infidelity claims
  • Child custody arrangements 

If your reason for hiring a private investigator for surveillance purposes is not on the list, that does not mean it is not doable. The list above is merely the most common reasons for surveillance private investigators receive. We would always recommend discussing the details of your case with a private investigator so they can advise the best course of action. 

Close protection surveillance services

Close protection security is the physical protection of client(s) from any possible threat of harm. This security measure is usually carried out by private investigators trained to spot suspicious activity who provide ongoing security assessments using mobile and static surveillance to ensure threat mitigation, with the aim of keeping a client safe from danger. 

There is often the misconception around close protection officers (CPOs)/private investigators that they are all overt and visible to the general public and any waiting threats, as an obvious deterrent. However, CPO’s often work covertly, blending in with their environment so as not to attract attention and allowing them to provide a more subtle surveillance.  

This surveillance technique allows for a detailed monitoring and can enable a private investigative team to check whether their client is being followed and by whom. The use of technology such as cameras, infrared devices, and GPS tracking, means that more protective steps can be taken thanks to the evidence provided by continuous surveillance. 

Sometimes there may be need of a residential security team to help the client feel safe and protected around their home. Surveillance is often used in this case, combined with an obvious security deterrent of placed CPOs. 

Surveillance from OpSec Solutions

OpSec Solutions provides professional risk management & surveillance solutions, as well as standard private investigative services. Operating throughout the UK and abroad, we provide the expertise and experience you need to protect yourself or your business. 

We aim to provide an affordable, quality, private investigator, and surveillance service across the UK. We are a highly regarded, professionally accredited Private Investigation Firm with personnel across the country that provides evidence to court admissible standards in all cases that require actionable data. This requires the utmost discretion, sensitivity, and confidentiality, as well as strict adherence to ethical guidelines and data protection law. 

This means that all our agents are fully trained in all aspects of surveillance, so you can be rest assured you have a professional team of experts in your corner, drawn from military, police, and corporate backgrounds. This range of expertise ensures they can provide the correct skills for any specific type of private investigation. We will also match your agent or team to the location you are in, so you know that if you are based in Manchester for example, so are your private detectives.  

For most private investigations, specialised surveillance is required. From illegal subletting and fraudulent claims to infidelity or custody issues, our surveillance services provide the information you need to put your mind at rest – and the evidence you need to prove it in a court of law. 

From audible to digital, we use a wide range of advanced technology solutions to provide clients with usable & reliable HD footage & images, with time stamps, GPS tracking and daily logs also available.  

We understand that no case or investigation is the same, which is why here at OpSec we don’t take a fixed approach to surveillance. We know that every case has its own requirements and complexities – whether it is a long-term static project or dynamic mobile surveillance that needs operatives in various locations. Therefore, the best service we can provide you, is a fully inclusive, bespoke package comprising all the investigative solutions you need. We will have an in-depth consultation with you to find out all your requirements and then put together a plan of attack with clear methodology. Crucially, all our private investigation packages come with custom pricing that we will be completely transparent about from start to finish. 

With headquarters in London and Manchester, and with agents across the UK and overseas, our mobile, static, electronic, corporate, and counter surveillance services are the ideal solution for Great Britain and beyond. 

So, if you want to know more about the private investigator services we provide, including surveillance, and want to know how we could help you, then please contact us today using our contact form on the website or call us on 0844-664-1125.

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