Let Us Be Your Eyes and Ears
Conducting legal, proper surveillance is one of the most important capabilities of a private investigator. It is an essential tool that helps investigators bring the truth to light for all parties involved. Whether your case relates to family, civil, business, government, or criminal issues, we have the surveillance experience to help you.
Surveillance and Technology
Surveillance provides close and detailed observation of a person, place or thing to gather facts that usually can’t be obtained in any other way. These observations can help prove or disprove specific elements of a case, and are useful both at trial, or in other less formal proceedings. This type of surveillance could be anything from observing a subject’s daily routine for unusual behavior patterns, to proactively watching a suspect to catch them in a criminal act. Advances in technology now allow private investigators to employ a range of tactics in the surveillance process. From powerful databases, which provide detailed information on the subject, and allow us to plan surveillances more effectively, to other technology focused on capturing audio or video recordings surreptitiously. Technology such as micro-bugs, pinhole cameras with fiber optic stalks, or stealth drones that hover over unsuspecting persons are all now viable options.
Despite these technological advances, surveillance has three basic components that have stood the test of time: Look. Listen. Follow.
Pre-surveillance and Social Media
With the prevalence of social media impacting the private and professional lives of citizens, it is amazing how much people share about their personal and professional accomplishments with the public. In addition to the information found in our restricted databases, social media platforms allow private investigators to mine much more personal information about the subject; places they go, their likes and dislikes, people who are their friends and family, etc. A good private investigator will review all the online information he/she can find on a subject before they ever leave the office, because that information will greatly increase their chances of successfully completing their assignment.
Visual Surveillance Methods
There are a variety of tools for recording actions during a surveillance, and the list is always growing. From digital video recorders, pin-hole cameras, game cameras, DSLR cameras, and even today’s smart phones, which come with an ever-expanding set of capabilities. Largely due to convenience and today’s security demands, these devices have become smaller, lighter, are able to be used in various lighting conditions, and produce greater quality high-definition images. Long battery life, automatic time stamps, and instantaneous downloads now provide courtroom-quality evidence as needed.
Micro-cameras, for example, come in many forms disguised as buttons, Bluetooth headsets, or small fiber optic stalks, not to mention smartphones. All these options afford the private investigator the ability to take it anywhere and record the evidence the client needs.
Audio Surveillance Methods
When traditional video surveillance is too invasive for the circumstances audio surveillance is an alternate option for recording up-close and in-the-moment information. It’s important to note that some prep work is required for using this method, as there may be legal obligations the private investigator must satisfy to use the information.
Wireless body microphones allow the private investigator to record the subject after coming up with a pretext to get them talking.
Following and Tracking a Subject
Surveillance operations usually involves following a subject, whether on foot, or in a vehicle. In either case, a private investigator must know how to be discreet, and not draw attention to himself/herself. Driving a nondescript car and wearing appropriate clothing for the situation are basic ways to reduce an investigator’s profile.
Passive tracking systems, such as battery-powered GPS trackers can be implanted on your target’s car, but only if certain conditions are met for it to be legal. The use of trackers can allow an investigator to track a subject’s movements from the comfort of their office. These trackers transmit cellular data over the internet, which can be monitored from a distance to ensure the target doesn’t catch on.
Creativity in developing tactics and methods to legally uncover evidence is a trait of great private investigators. At Blackfish Investigations, we have over 125 years of experience in surveillance operations. Let us put our experience to work for you.