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Surveillance Techniques Used By Private Investigators

Private Investigations UK employs the use of surveillance, so they can gather in-depth data to resolve complex cases. The act of surveillance involves more than just observation and tracking, in fact, surveillance can also be carried out remotely.

Private Investigators in the UK conduct surveillance services to treat cases of employee theft, partner infidelity, realty issues, cases of child support, finding hidden properties, as well as to uncover insurance fraud. The different methods of surveillance enable Private Investigators to gather a wide range of data, regarding the person or subject under observation. This collection of information can then make a preliminary case, which could be forwarded to the court.

There are several methods & equipment used to conduct surveillance. Private investigators either apply a clandestine approach to surveillance, or discrete observations in a covert operation. If you wish to learn about the different approaches to carrying out surveillance, you can go through the following methods of carrying out surveillance.

The Electronic Surveillance

The electronic approach is the typical perception of monitoring behaviour. In electronic surveillance, Private Investigators use digital equipment to gather information. These instruments often include tracking a person’s movement by GPS, although they’re all legal boundaries that need to be adhered to in line with GDPR. The use of cameras also falls in this category of conducting surveillance.

The electronic approach of monitoring is often employed in cases where a wide range of data is required. For instance, if a company has doubts about a particular employee misusing the firm’s provided resources, they can hire a Private Investigator to monitor their behaviour. The PI could use GPS tracking to ensure that no fraudulent activity is being carried out under the firm’s granted resources. The electronic approach can be carried out in person, as well as from remote locations.

The Direct Observation

The approach of direct observation is a lengthy, yet effective process. Private Investigators are able to find credible and usable information by monitoring the individual’s behaviours first-hand. This process can be stretched out to a few weeks. However, direct observation, as a form of surveillance, can provide detailed, clear, and evident results, that the client could use to make an informed decision about their next step.

Private Investigators employ this approach by discreetly following the individuals under investigation. They can capture images, for evidentiary reasons, and report their findings back to the clients. The direct observation approach of surveillance is most commonly applied to cases of infidelity. The Private Investigators follow the potentially-guilty party to confirm the doubts of their partner. With continuous observation, a Private Investigator is able to confirm or eliminate these uncertainties.

The Interview

The interview approach is further used by Private Investigation firms to resolve cases that include missing pieces of information. Interviews facilitate the acquisition of detailed and comprehensive data, which could be compared and analysed, to fill in the gaps and highlight discrepancies within the information assembled.

Private Investigators conduct interviews based on relevant sources of information that could potentially help their case. In the case that the PI wants to interview the guilty party, they can even go undercover to extract information that solves the puzzle. The interview approach is most commonly applied to cases of investigating missing people. In such scenarios, the Private Investigators can communicate with friends, neighbours, local shops, and any individual that deem to be a crucial source.

Static Surveillance

Static surveillance is exactly what it sounds like. It involves staying in one position and observing what happens there. Subjects might be plotting something in this location, or it may be their point of rendezvous with their accomplices. Often, we can cover multiple angles in the location by making use of security cameras, as well as arming ourselves with our own video cameras.

This is usually what we do when we’re conducting security surveillance. If someone suspects an imminent burglary from their home or business, we’d use this method. It’s beneficial because we can arrange it with little warning. In as little as two hours, we can comprehensively cover an entire property with recording devices. often just a few hours.

The Technical Surveillance

The technical approach to surveillance utilises audio and visual equipment, to collect information for the case. The Private Investigators can listen and view raw data and make a connection with their case. Hence, the technical approach allows PIs to carry out an analysis of the behaviour and conversations of the party under investigation.

Private Investigators abide by legal regulations when using the technical approach to monitoring. This approach is commonly used in corporate cases, where an organisation wishes to examine the authenticity of the excuses, in the case of employee usage of sick leaves or frequent absenteeism.

Mobile Surveillance

When we conduct mobile surveillance, we actively follow the subject. It’s a bit more difficult to be caught out when using this method. It is used primarily to find out where someone goes. A lot of the time, it’s helpful to make use of GPS tracking devices, as it removes the initial need to physically tail someone; it’s always best to gather as much intelligence as possible before deploying any kind of surveillance.

We use mobile surveillance a lot when we’re trying to figure out who exactly someone is. Cheating spouses are occasionally involved with people who are entirely unknown to their other half. In these cases we’d typically conduct two separate mobile surveillances. The first would involve tailing the spouse in order to gather evidence of the affair, and the second would involve following the other man or woman to figure out who they are, where they live, and where they work.

In other cases, this strategy is helpful in investigations into egregious employee time theft, as well as personal injury claims and child custody disputes.

Online Surveillance

Unlike the other physical surveillance methods that we’ve described, conducting surveillance online is achievable from our office. Typically, we’d begin with a check of the subject’s social media accounts. This can reveal huge amounts of information, like their address, other aliases, and IP address. With this information we can broaden our search, first across the surface web, then through overlay networks, also known as ‘the dark web’.

We can use this technical surveillance to prove that someone isn’t really who they say they are. This is important in investigations into romance fraud and prenuptial investigations. It can also be beneficial in enhanced due diligence background checks, as we can continuously keep tabs on our subject’s digital footprint.

The different approaches to carrying out surveillance are not used separately, rather Private Investigators combine different methods, depending on the complexity and requirements of the case. This enables them to be thorough and detail-oriented with their investigation so that the collected data can be used proficiently in a court of law.

For discreet private investigation services in the UK, get in touch with a UK Private Investigator today. You can contact us by completing the enquiry form here, Contact Us or else call us on 0800 002 9858 | 07730439156

Members of: WAPI | CII | UKPIN | ABI

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