You are trying to hire a Private Investigator for a surveillance assignment and we want you, the client, to know what to expect.
What is surveillance?
It is monitoring the activities of a subject without their knowledge in order to find out what they are doing.
In domestic surveillances the investigator and client are trying to find the subject doing something that he/she shouldn’t, like having an affair.
In an injury or insurers cases the investigator is trying to observe and record the subject doing something he/she shouldn’t be able to do with their reported injury.
In criminal activity surveillance the investigator is trying to observe and record the subject in some type of criminal activity.
Most surveillance cases that exist are either stationary, the investigator is observing a fixed location from concealment, or a mobile surveillance, where the investigator has to follow the subject who is moving around by foot or some type of conveyance, such as a car.
Everyone has seen surveillances done by TV Private Detectives’ Like Magnum PI, who used to follow subjects, right on their bumper in a red convertible, wearing a brightly coloured Hawaiian shirt? Of course Magnum was never “burned”, (observed by the subject to be tailing him/her).
Just imagine the difficulty of following someone in heavy city traffic, without being seen by the subject, who if they are cheating or have a Insurance case pending, are suspicious and looking for someone following them, without being close enough to arose their suspicion and not being so far back that they lose sight of the subject.
Also remember that a private investigator is supposed to obey all traffic laws. If the subject goes through a red light on the yellow and the investigator gets the red light, the subject is lost.
Another common scenario is if the subject vehicle makes a right turn on red, into traffic, and it takes several seconds for the investigator to turn the subject will be lost.
One way to decrease the chance of losing the subject, but not completely eliminating it, is to use several investigators in several vehicles, this way the investigators can switch off tailing, always keeping one of the investigators just ahead of the subject to pick up the surveillance in case the immediate tailing vehicle gets stuck at a light.
Of course the more investigators and vehicles involved the higher the cost for the client.
In the event an investigator loses his/her subject he needs to try to re-acquire the subject by checking known locations, such as home, work, etc., or try to search the area where last seen, in an attempt to regain contact and to check all possible outcomes, and addresses.