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What is surveillance investigation?

Over 20 years of experience

Surveillance Services is a broad term for different types of monitoring. It always involves gathering information about someone, somewhere, or something. Private investigators usually use at least one kind of surveillance to collect information about a case.

Our surveillance services are most popular for cheating partner investigations. We also work with businesses looking to conduct due diligence on their employees and keep track of their competitors.

We have developed effective surveillance strategies over the past 20 years and use highly skilled investigators. If you are interested in our surveillance services, please contact us for a free consultation.

Surveillance Services


In an investigation, ‘observation’ is the name we give to watching. It comes in two forms, overt and covert observation. We normally record observations so that we have a proof of what we have seen.

In an overt observation, it is common knowledge that the surveillance is taking place. A common example of overt observational surveillance is CCTV cameras because they are made obvious to the people being watched.

During covert observation, the surveillance is done in secret. In Hollywood movies, a private investigator ‘staking someone out’ is conducting covert observational surveillance. This is actually quite a common and useful strategy for gathering intelligence. We use this kind of surveillance a lot in cheating partner and personal injury investigations.

When conducting covert surveillance, we usually begin by conducting a vehicle trace to see where their car goes most often. We would then watch those locations to see what the subject does there, and who else goes there. As we follow leads and gather intelligence, we tailor your investigation to find you the answers that you need.

Our surveillance is always discreet. We guarantee that the subject will not know that they are being watched. Our detectives will never reveal details of an investigation without asking you first.

Read More: Surveillance Techniques Used by Private Investigators


We Gather as Much Information as Possible

If we need information about a person or a situation, it is helpful to ask people involved what they think. It can limit an investigation to reveal that the interview is taking place at all. An investigator would usually disguise an interview as an informal chat.


Interviews are vital when we are looking for a missing person. We can use them to gather as much information as possible from the people close to the subject.


Sometimes it can be helpful for an investigator to explain that they are looking for information, but privacy is our priority. If we think it would be helpful to disclose the interview, we will ask for your permission first.

Surveillance Guarantees

PI UK Guarantees Safe and Effective Surveillance

There are a lot of myths about the private investigation industry. We want to do away with Hollywood stereotypes and normalise the use of private detectives. That’s why we guarantee that our surveillance is:

✓ Safe. The safety of our clients, subjects, and detectives will always be our number one priority. We never do anything that puts you, us, or anyone else in danger.

✓ Legal. Private investigators are completely legal. Our private investigators are fully qualified and never engage in illegal activity to obtain information.

✓ Discreet. We are careful to ensure that nobody we are watching in a covert observation knows that we are conducting surveillance.

✓ Confidential. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will never discuss the surveillance with anyone else.

✓ Effective. We create high-quality recordings of relevant surveillance to ensure that you have the proof you need to move forward.

✓ GDPR compliant. Everything we do fullycomplies with The UK General Data Protection Act (2018.)

We’re taking private clients. Call now to book a free consultation.
Identifying details like names and locations have been changed or omitted to protect the anonymity of our clients.


We were contacted by Angela, who shared joint custody of her four-year-old son with the child’s father, Brian. She had heard rumours that Brian was selling drugs from his home. Angela knew that her ex was compromising their son’s safety when he was supposed to be looking after him, but she needed evidence. That’s when she asked for our help.

We used covert surveillance services to monitor Brian’s house and made some alarming discoveries.

  1. At night, Brian was leaving their four-year-old son unattended for up to two hours at a time.
  2. While the child was in his care, unknown people were parking outside the house. Brian was making ‘exchanges’ with them through the passenger window of their cars.
  3. The car that Brian was using to drive their son around was uninsured and didn’t have an MOT certificate.

We compiled vehicle records and collected time-stamped photographic evidence so that Angela could prove that Brian was behaving irresponsibly when the child was in his care. Angela was able to obtain sole custody of her son and, most importantly, now knows that her son is safe.

For more information on our child custody investigations, please click here.

Carol contacted us because she was suspicious that her husband, David, was having an affair with his co-worker, Emily, who was also one of their neighbours. Carol had considered Emily a friend, trusting her and allowing her into her home. She began to grow suspicious of David and Emily when they started sharing lifts to and from work every day, but she put these worries to the back of her mind.

When David told Carol that he had to go to New York for a business trip, and that Emily was going to be going with him, Carol was upset. To make matters worse, a quick look at David’s emails revealed that he had hidden the fact that they had a four-day stopover in Mexico. Carol came to us with this information and asked how we could help.

Within 24 hours, we were able to expedite the case. Our contacts in Mexico awaited David and Emily’s arrival at the airport and followed them to a beachside resort. The investigator witnessed and recorded the following damning evidence:

  1. David and Emily checked into a Honeymoon suite together.
  2. They walked around the resort, clearly loved-up and holding hands.
  3. They shared a romantic picnic on the beach.

This activity was recorded on high-quality, time-and-date stamped video, so Carol could prove beyond all doubt that David and Emily had been having an extra-marital affair.

Click here for more information on cheating partner investigations.

Late one night, George, the owner of a plant machinery yard, contacted us because he was suspicious of one of his former employees, Ian. George believed that Ian was visiting the yard after hours and stealing equipment. With only four hours’ notice, George asked us to conduct security surveillance on his yard.

We gathered a team of three operatives and covered all angles of the yard with surveillance services. We positively identified Ian approaching the yard with an unknown male and recorded footage of them carrying bolt cutters. As soon as we saw them make entry into the yard, we called the police. Ian and his accomplice were arrested, and George could relax in the knowledge that his business was safe.

Read more about employee investigations here.


Is your husband or wife behaving strangely? PI UK can help.

We’ve spent the past 20 years perfecting our surveillance techniques. Find out how surveillance can help you.

We believe a successful marriage begins with an investigation. Make sure you know who you’re welcoming into your family.

PI UK’s relationship expert has put together a list of red flags to look out for in your relationship.

Divorces are always unpleasant, especially if things get messy. PI UK can help.

Our infidelity investigator answers every question you could have about looking into unfaithful partners.

Nobody wants to fight for the right to care for their child. Find out about how our services can help.

We’ve perfected our number tracing strategy. Find out who’s calling you with help from PI UK.

Hidden assets can be damaging for hundreds of different reasons. Read about PI UK’s asset searching services.

If you need to find out where someone lives, PI UK’s Address Finder can help. 

We specialise in uncovering the past. PI UK offers private background checks for businesses and individuals.

Due Diligence helps you to ensure that your company is safe when you make major decisions.

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