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When it comes to conducting surveillance, there is no guarantee of a successful operation. However, there are strategies that private investigators utilize to increase the odds of pulling out successful surveillance without encountering any problems. Aside from investigative report writing, we will look at five essential keys to a successful surveillance operation.
1.) Choose Your Spot Carefully
Easier said than done, right? However, selecting the ideal location for your surveillance isn’t as simple as it seems. As private investigators, we obviously want an unobstructed view of the target. But there will also be times where that perfect watching spot just doesn’t exist. The spot that offers the best angle without attracting too much attention just isn’t realistic.
Because of that, it is crucial for you to be strategic with your location.
The best location? Look for a place or building for sale near your target location. Park there and you will have fewer nosy, suspecting people trying to look into your vehicle. If you are in a neighborhood, and there aren’t any house-for-sale nearby, look to park between two houses. The catch is that when you do, the occupants of both homes will most likely assume that you’re a visitor at their neighbor’s.
2.) Choose The Right Vehicle
Many consider this as the golden rule of surveillance. In the surveillance industry, the proper vehicle is key to you rising to greatness. Keep in mind that your goal is to blend in with your surroundings. Standing out and getting noticed is an absolute no-no. The biggest mistake that most investigators commit in conducting surveillance operations is choosing the wrong vehicle.
Think about it: sitting in a luxurious car, or worse, on a van that features antennas and pitch-black-tinted windows is plainly counterproductive to what you’re trying to achieve. When choosing the vehicle for the operation, always keep in mind that the ideal one should not be memorable and should randomly blend in naturally in the background of their target location.
A real surveillance investigator will willingly surrender the opportunity of owning a cool-looking ride for the fulfillment of their surveillance operation.
3.) Learn Your Subject Thoroughly
It is essential for you to be aware of your subject. Relying on information provided by your client alone will not be enough. You should exhaustively interview them. Ask them about everything they know with your target. You should not settle for only a few information as it will limit your options of where you’re going to conduct your surveillance.
In conducting any surveillance operation, you should have multiple options to choose. But without sufficient information about the target, you will have a hard time determining where they are and where they like to go.
4.) Pay Close Attention to Your Target’s Social Media
Unlike today’s modern investigators, a lot of traditional PI’s are not utilizing social media as much. However, they are actually missing a lot of valuable information by not paying attention to their target’s social media profile. Snooping on your subject's social media accounts will reap you with relevant information that you can utilize for your investigation.
People share almost anything on social media, so information like the target’s address, accounts, people they’re affiliated to, and even their current location can easily be determined.
5. Notify The Authorities On Where You’ll Be Operating
Notifying the police should be done if you are looking to avoid them from messing in with your operation. However, it is important to note that checking in with the authorities can have positive and negative effects. There will be cases where the police will provide you with more valuable information. However, there will also be instances where they will, instead, warn your subject about what you’re doing.
Though we strongly recommend you tell the authorities about your activity, you should also not spill all of the beans on them. You should check in with them, but never give full information on your subject. Providing vague locations will also be beneficial.
If you follow these five simple guidelines, we sincerely believe that your surveillance operation results will improve on a drastic scale. Despite this, the success or failure of surveillance is still unpredictable. However, by utilizing these strategies, your chances of achieving a successful operation will be much higher.