Surveillance is the close observation of a person, place, or object. It is the practice of watching a subject in order to document the interactions or whereabouts of the subject.
When Is Surveillance Used?
Missing person searches
Cheating spouse investigations
Worker's compensation cases
Common Types of Surveillance
There are a variety of ways to carry out surveillance, including the use of electronics, physical observation, conducting interviews, and using technology.
Electronic Surveillance is the type of documentation private investigators most often use. It involves utilizing devices like television, wiretapping, and radios to document activity. It also includes monitoring an individual’s use of their phones, email, and social media.
Physical Observation is when investigators physically follow or watch a subject. This can potentially involve disguises, stakeouts, and multiple investigators.
Interviews are conducted by investigators to discover as much information as possible about the subject. The people interviewed could include family members, neighbors, friends, or coworkers.
Technical Surveillance encompasses digital photography and video/audio recordings. Examples of these are surveillance cameras used by businesses and dash cameras used by both police officers and private investigators.
Along with types of surveillance, there are different tactics used by investigators in order to obtain information.
Overt vs. Covert:
An example of overt investigation includes the security cameras businesses use that deter clients from stealing. Covert investigation, however, is undetected, like an undercover detective trailing a subject
Mobile vs. Stationary:
Mobile investigation involves detectives following their subjects, whether on foot or in a vehicle. Stationary investigation is remaining in one location, which could include watching the subject from a parked car.
Mechanical vs. Human:
Mechanical investigation is the use of video cameras, voice recorders, and other such equipment. Human investigation is when a member of the investigative team is a direct source of information.
Why Conduct Surveillance?
There are a variety of reasons, from investigating crime to locating an individual, to conduct a surveillance investigation.
To prevent crime
To obtain evidence of a crime
To obtain evidence in civil suits
To document an individual's location
To document activities in/around a location
To obtain information for interrogation purposes
To obtain information to be used in court
With prevalent issues like marital infidelity, employee dishonesty, and crime, surveillance is one way you can stay secure. It gives you the facts and proof you need about the people you trust with your home, children, money, and your life.