Surveillance Investigator

Surveillance is an investigation technique that can be used by private investigators, law enforcement, and military. The primary purposes of surveillance include obtaining information, documentation, and gathering evidence. The investigator performs a surveillance by pursuing a subject, target, or claimant to determine what locations they go to, what individuals they associate with, and what actions they perform in the process.

NJ Surveillance Investigator

Pursuing in a Vehicle

When pursuing a subject in their vehicle a good private eye knows some basic key actions to take. The distance in which one follows is very important and should change based on the situation. For example, you will not pursue the same distance on a narrow back road as you would on a highway. We have found many people, other PI’s even, tend to think they are following too close and will be noticed. These “paranoid pursuers” are the ones that will have many disconnects. The fact is that most individuals are not suspicious of being followed and unless they are constantly looking will have no idea they are under surveillance. Many times the risk of a disconnect is much higher than that of getting made or burned by the target. This risk must constantly be on the mind of the investigator and balanced accordingly. Every situation is different and there are many variables that could change this fact such as if the subject had been followed before and made the previous investigator. Obviously this situation would require more caution. The client must also be aware that if the distance is kept further than usual, chances of being made are less likely, however it is more likely to have a disconnect. There should be a good balance based on communication between the client and the investigator about the individual under surveillance.

Positioning Surveillance Vehicle

This is another element of surveillance which is very important. Right from the start, the positioning can make or break the surveillance. In the field, things happen very quickly so you need to be ready to get out on your subject as soon as there is any activity. Ideally, you are to be facing the direction in which they will travel on the road with a view of the location and the vehicle. The investigator needs to be very adaptive because the elements that can change in the field are virtually endless. There could be a street sweeper that forces you to move, ticket cops, garbage trucks, tree services, school buses, and more. It is important to position yourself in a way that you are able to reposition on the fly at any time if needed. This applies for every new location the subject visits, so the investigator needs to make sure every time their target stops, they are in the best position possible to get the video they need and maintain the surveillance.

Private Investigator Surveillance

When this effective investigative tactic is implemented by private investigators, they essentially follow the subject of the surveillance and document their every move. There are subtle skills that a savvy, adaptive, and modern day private investigator will pick up through years of experience in the field and utilizing technology. Although subtle, they make a world of a difference in results for the client.

Positioning Surveillance Equipment

As stated earlier, things happen in the field very quickly. Therefore, the best investigators will be prepared and have all of their equipment set up in their vehicle so they can access it right away. They may have an easy access area for their camera, notebook, pens, and covert recording devices.

Use of Covert Equipment

In this age of technology, there are many bugs, hidden cameras, and recording devices that can be used in the field of investigations. They are not always necessary, in fact, a simple cell phone with date and time stamp on it is very useful in most situations. However, if it is a case that we know the client needs lengthy recordings in public places of conversations, covert bugs are most definitely a must. If we know ahead of time that we will need to follow an individual into a location and begin recording covertly, we will wire up our investigator prior to the surveillance and be ready so that at any time we may capture the conversations needed. There are a lot of cheaply made “gadgets” usually from China that are poor quality and in many cases do not have date and time. We have experience working with the best local spy shops and are in the know about the latest and best equipment available. Many of these devices are not easy to operate, but we have learned and use them on a regular bases. The most experienced investigators will be able to gather information on the fly with covert surveillance equipment as well as simply pursuing a vehicle.

Bottom Line

When used properly, these and other investigative strategies of the experienced PI can make a huge difference in the outcome of a surveillance. If the positioning is incorrect, the investigator may lose the subject as soon as the surveillance begins. If the covert equipment isn’t prepared before entering after the target, valuable information being verbalized by the subject could be missed. When you put all of these things together, you get a skilled, seasoned private investigator. We are trained and proficient in all of the above and more.

Author: Nicholas Melber

I am a licensed NJ private investigator by trade however I am also a webmaster, SEO Specialist, and investor. I have been in the private detective field for over a dozen years and have had a passion for computers since childhood. I specialize in every type of surveillance investigation including infidelity, child custody, alimony, and fraud.

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